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Thomas Carlyle was no believer in the Theory of Continuity 
as applied to literary expression. He did not believe that the 
mediaeval lyric grew by a series of pendulum swings from a lower 
stage of verse, less native and less lyric. He denounced the 
Cabanis doctrine that poetry was a product of the smaller intes- 
tines "to be medically cultivated by the exhibition of castor-oil." 
Flat-footed he stood for the Theory of Inspiration and, after 
characterizing the Swabian period in a paragraph of singular 
beauty, he surprises us with the climactic phrase: "Suddenly, as 
at sunrise, the whole earth had grown vocal." ' 

Now, perhaps it were wise to accept Carlyle's dictum and so 
to bed. But unhappily the choice does not rest with us, for we 
have been beset round about with theories of extraneous origin 
for the Swabian efflorescence the waste places of the earth have 
been searched that none might suspect minnesang to be a German 
matter. Jakob Grimm asked all but one hundred years ago: 
"Why must German poetry be made to sprout from a foreign seed, 
when it is so robust that it can have been fathered only by an 
indigenous unit?" And to this apparently rhetorical question 
much answer has been made. 

For there is a mind so single to assuming an early Germanic 
home in the table-lands of Thibet, or in the arctic confines of upper 
Scandinavia, that it will never assent to the fertile plain of cen- 
tral Europe as the birthplace of the Teuton. The same mind is 
likewise so intent on seeking the source of any desirable thing in 
the forgotten corners of the world that it prefers to posit the Isle 
of Atlantis or Ultima Thule as the brooding-spot of early German 
love-song, rather than acknowledge it to be possibly rooted in 
south German soil. Thus the minnesinger has been made to steal 
his provision from many sources he was ever influenced, it seems, 
from without rather than from within. We have theories of 
oriental influence through the convenient medium of the early 

i Cf. Critical and Miscellaneous Essays (1900), Vol. II, p. 275. 
411] 1 [MODERN PHILOLOGY, April, 1906 


crusaders and of the haughty Saracen. The ingenuous German 
minstrel has also been thought to be much shaken by the Byzan- 
tine ceremonial and etiquette introduced by Theophania. Much 
impulse was given him, we are told, by the renaissance of classical 
antiquity which came in the tenth century. There are theories 
of Celtic influence, first through an early mingling of Celt and 
Teuton, later through French mediation. There are, as we should 
expect, theories of Provencal and French influence 1 and I have 
even heard of Slavic traces which darkly shade the writings of 
Kurenberg and Hausen. But this last thesis slumbers in an 
unpublished doctor's dissertation. 

Let us follow for the moment the development of a typical 
attempt to prove extraneous motifs the prototypes of the themes 
of early German minnesang. Only thus can we know how capti- 
vating this sort of play is. Gaston Paris says that minnesang had 
its form and spirit from the French lyric, 2 and Jeanroy in his 
famous but misleading book would prove the dogma. 3 To begin 
with, Jeanroy cites the interesting but unimportant fact* that 
manuscripts of French lyrics precede by a few years those of their 
German congeners. This condition of affairs is made much of, 
and the main argument then proceeded to: The earliest German 

1 We may not stop at this time to dwell on the development of these hypotheses. The 
bibliography of the subject, which is a large one, is conveniently presented in Schonbach, 
Die Anfdnge des deutschen Minnesangs, Graz, 1898. 

2 La poisie du moyen age 2 (1903), Vol. II, p. 41 : " La magnifiqne litterature poetique de 
1'Allemagne, & la fin du xiie et au commencement du xiii siecle, n'est que le reflet de la notre. 
Les Minnesinger ont transports dans leur langue les formes et 1'esprit de la poesie lyrique 

3 Les origines de lapoesie lyrique en Franceau moyen age'* (1904) , chap, i v, part 2, pp. 274 ff . 
Jeanroy is ignorant of the latest literature on his subject, " La po6sie franchise en Alle- 
magne." He writes of a recent statement of Scherer's, although it was made in 1884. 

* Is such a fact not unimportant? Or shall we make the bibliography of the lyric the biog- 
raphy of it? Here is a pretty case in point: Prior to the year 1896 the view maintained that a 
certain sort of popular German ballad arose during the fifteenth century. This view of course 
was based on manuscript tradition. In 1896 Schr6der published in the Zeitschrift fur Kir- 
chengeschichte (Vol. XVII, " Die Tanzer von Kolbigk ") a stanza in Latin translation of just 
such a sort of popular German ballad from about the year 1013 : 

Equitabat Bovo per silvam frondosam, 
Ducebat sibi Merswinden formosam. 
Quid stamus ? Cur non imus ? 

As it were, Es reitet Bovo durch bl&ttrigen Wold/ Begegnet ihm Merswind wohlgestalt, etc. 
From 1896 on criticism may now establish the popular ballad (sung to the accompaniment 
of the dance) as one of the main roots of the lyric the other two ascertainable roots, accord- 
ing to KOgel (Geschichte der deutschen Literatur bis zum Ausgange des Mittelalters, Vol. I, 
part 2, 1897, p. 650), being the strophic epic and the Latin vagantenlyrik. 



lyrics center about three motifs: (a) separation; (6) absence; 
(c) reunion. Now, these very themes Jeanroy discovers to be 
those of French lyrics which exist in slightly earlier texts. There- 
fore the post hoc ergo propter hoc, the quod erat demonstrandum : 
French lyrics are the source of German lyrics. 

How futile such "proof"! What other motifs than the three of 
Jeanroy are found in simple, popular love-lyrics anywhere, let the 
initiated ask. Erotic popular verse which excludes reflection must 
needs content itself with (a) the presence of the loved one and 
the pertinent bodily charms; (6) sighs for the absent one's return 
and a sketching in of attendant loneliness, fear of unfaith, or fear 
of death; (c) the loved one's return, and the joys of surrender 
and possession. Particularly does naive erotic song lend itself 
amiably to such treble classification, if one be as adaptable in 
applying captions as is Jeanroy. Let us take up our Minnesangs 
Friihling (edd. Lachmann-Haupt 4 , 1888) and turn to the anony- 
mous pieces. Du bist min, ich bin din goes into pigeonhole (c), 
reunion. Waer diu werlt alliu min falls gracefully into compart- 
ment (6), absence, etc. Not simple poetry alone, but all the facts 
of life and death as well, will yield to such quacksalvery. 

Gawk-handed, however, as Jeanroy's attempt to find the source 
for German lyric outside of Germany may be awkward and funny 
as other similar attempts have been it is still to be preferred to 
the procedure of those scientists who have tried to build up a 
lyric from something other than a lyric. Lachmann used to teach 
that prior to the twelfth century Germans expressed their erotic 
impulses in narrative form, and today we are told that the lyric 
developed very slowly in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, in 
part under the influence of the Latin goliard poetry, in part as an 
offshoot of the epic and the ballad. 1 We even learn of an undif- 
ferentiated poetry whatever that may be. 

Mr. Gummere, for example, presumes that poetry had to pass 
through ages of preparation, in order to create its communal 
elements. Circling in the common dance, moving and singing in 
the consent of common labor, the makers of earliest poetry, he 

i KOgel and Bruckner, "Althoch- und Altniederdentsche Literatur," Pauls Grundrissi 
(1901), Vol. II, p. 33. 



says, put into it the elements without which it could not thrive. 
Afterward we are not told when communal poetry brought 
forth individual poetry by a sort of fissiparous birth, and an 
asexual poet, who was every member of the throng in turn, 
detached himself. Later the approximate date of this occur- 
rence is not hinted at this solitary artist came at last to inde- 
pendence by means of short improvisations ; the communal fashion 
of poetry became a lost cause, the poet took the place of the choral 
throng, and his triumph was complete. Das volk dichtete nicht 

For Mr. Gummere as a theorist on the origins of poetry there 
can be no censure. Such a picture of the coming-to-be of rhyth- 
mic utterance as he paints for us is as acceptable perhaps as any 
which the imagination can construct. It is at least conservative. 
Compared with the theorist on the origins of language who endows 
proethnic man with the power to achieve different words for things 
clearly and distinctively; compared with the syntactician who 
gives primitive human beings a feeling for the accusative case as 
typifying the direction toward which, or as typifying contact, 
there is an indwelling reasonableness in Mr. Gummere's premises. 
But there may be censure for those who believe that Mr. Gum- 
mere's artist had not detached himself from the throng so late as 
the first century of the Christian era; for those who read in the 
Germania of Tacitus that the poetry of Germans still consists of 
choral and communal song, and then maintain that lyric was not 
yet born; for those who read of this poetry of masses of men, of 
warriors moving into battle, of the tribe dancing at religious rites, 
and then assert with Lachmann that another thousand years would 
be required to bring forth the lyric. 

Poor Tacitus! He told us only what he would, not what we 
wish he might have told. Conscious literature in the Roman 
provinces, he would have us know, consisted of choral song of 
epic-mythical content. And so it did. One does not tell history 
today in doggerel verses, nor did the German peoples spoken of 
by this tourist from the south ; that sort of thing, if it be done in 
verse, requires the oratorio and the orotund. When Tacitus 
further says that these songs are the one way in which the Ger- 



mans chronicle their history, he is thinking of the history of the 
clan, of the tribe, of its deeds and the deeds of its heroes. He is 
not dealing with that larger concept of history which a late 
age has read into it: the whole unvarnished story of the religion 
and customs of a people, their employment of the arts of peace, 
their relations with other peoples, their struggles for freedom of 
conscience and of intellect kulturgeschichte. For the purpose 
of chronicling these matters no song of epic-mythical content, 
delivered to the great audience of the moot, sufficed. 

But grant that the Germania is not an idyl after the manner 
of Voss's Luise; grant that it is neither a romance nor a political 
pamphlet, that its author had really left the walls of Rome before 
writing his book, and that the West Teutons along the Rhine 
were as he pictured them: a race icar e^oKrjv \ drunken, but with a 
regard for the chastity of women which measured out death for 
the ravished vestal ; primitive, but with a Chesterfieldian sense of 
honor. How does this affect that other part of the whole about 
which we should so gladly be enlightened? Was there no thud 
and beat of soldier song for weary German warriors? Did the 
drooping slaves toil on with never a plaint uplifted in drudgery ? 
Was there no doggerel stanza for harvest festival, no boisterous 
pasquinade for nuptial rites, no dance couplet for flying feet, no 
swelling shout of lyric hymn in the mead-hall after victory was 
had? No low cadence to accompany the turn of millstone, no 
crooning chant for the restless child no soul emptied forth in 
aught but the epic song of the clan ? No lyric stanzas indissolubly 
connected with gesticulation, with the flourish of arms, with the 
swing and swaying of the body, with the stamping of feet? No 
lyric song rushed with blood, rising and falling with the color- 
pulse of emotional expression a blurred cry the sole hiatus of it, 
an indrawn breath to mete its quantities? Tacitus said nothing 
of all this. Why should he? 

As to the lyric in Germany, that is another story than Tacitus 
thought to tell his auditors. But suppose that the choral epic 
was the only form of song that came to conscious literary expres- 
sion; suppose that all visible traces of popular lyric verse in later 
centuries were obliterated by the gathering despotism of the 



church which antagonized the traditional blasphemies and obsceni- 
ties of the people. The thing itself was surely not eliminated. 
For, as ever in our observation of the history of popular lyrical 
verse, under whatever climate or among whatever races, the 
moment that conditions unite to make possible the emergence of 
this people's poetry into public view and favor, that moment it 
appears full-born. In what nook or cranny of national conscious- 
ness it has lain hidden may not be determined, but it never fails 
to awake from its long winter sleep when the first breath of a new 
life is blown across it. 

What then, it is pertinent to ask, may have been the nature of 
this submerged lyric, the popular forms of which continued in 
Germany throughout the obscure centuries prior to the budding 
and blossoming of minnesang? We shall come to this later, but 
first it is good to pause and take a view of the centuries with 
which we are to deal, to gain greater clarity for the coming 
discussion. 1 

Once upon a time there was a period conveniently known to 
criticism as the Long Gothic Night. Man during these weary 
months and years was waiting, it seems, for Trissino's Sofonisba. 
Surely did Prometheus long for the coming of Hercules no more 
eagerly than did man for Trissino. Finally, however, it was 
determined that man need not wait for the birth of the adventi- 

1 It seems to me at least that this is necessary. Long before I had read the opening 
pages of Maitland's The Dark Age& (1890), or seen Ker's Introduction (The Dark Ages, 1904), 
a new vista had been opened to my astonished gaze with each new book which treated of 
early mediaeval Europe. The theater was the same perhaps, but scenery and action shifted 
marvelously. Books which tossed me about like straw before a gusty wind were Ampere, 
Histoire littiraire de la France avant Charlemagne*, 2 vols. (1867) ; Boissier, Lafindu paga- 
nisme, 2 vols. (1891) ; Seeck, Geschichte des Untergangs der antiken Welt, 2 vols. (1895-1901) ; 
Glover, Life and Letters in the Fourth Century (1901) ; Dill, Roman Society in the Last Cen- 
tury of the Western Empire* (1899) ; Poole, Illustrations of the History of Medieval Thought 
(1884) ; Mullinger, The Schools of Charles the Great (1877) ; Sandys, A History of Classical 
Scholarship (1903) ; Saintsbury, A History of Criticism, Vol. I (1900) ; Comparetti, Virgitio 
nel medio evo*, 2 vols. (1896) ; Hertz, Spielmannsbuch 2 (1900) ; Reich, Der Mimus, Vol. I (1903) ; 
Chambers, Mediaeval Stage, 2 vols. (1903) ; and a dozen others scarcely less important. Even 
such encyclopaedic collections as Ebert, Geschichte der Litteratur des Mittelalters, 3 vols. 
(1880-1889) ; Teuffel-Schwabe, Geschichte der romischen Literature (1890) ; or Wattenbach, 
Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen', Vol. I (1904), were powerless to aid except in details; and 
the scores of monographs devoted to single authors or single periods had each a new view- 
point. Clear as some of these books are, powerful as a few of them may be, interesting as 
they seem almost without exception, they leave the reader who would gain insight into the 
times with which they deal in sad confusion of mind. He feels that he has endeavored to 
witness one well-constructed drama, and has been given a fortnight of vaudeville instead. 



tious Italian, and his sentence was so shortened that he was con- 
sidered free as early as 1100 A. D. The critic who had adjudged 
that "the years from 440 to 1440 were a Dark Period of Time" 
was thus put clearly in the wrong and told that William of Poitou 
was to serve as redeemer from darkness instead of Trissino. Thus 
the beginning of the twelfth century is made the dividing line 
between Dark Ages and Middle Ages. 

If we were to reduce to words the mental picture which many 
of us have of the past, I imagine the following vision, or some- 
thing like it, would be the result: Two great mountain-ranges 
confront one another, on the summits of either of which loom 
"far-shining cities and stately porticoes." One of these cloud- 
capped peaks is the Greece-Roman world, the other is the modern 
world. Half-way down the side of the former of these ranges 
are the dwellers of the Silver Age; half-way up the side of the 
latter range are the dwellers of the age of Renaissance. But 
uncounted fathoms beneath in the dank valley is the night of the 
Dark Ages, and there in the grim hollow of ignorance and super- 
stition dwells pre-mediseval man. 1 

Well, what's in a name ? Sunday is no better a day, I presume, 
for being Sunday certain old retainers to the contrary notwith- 
standing. A rose by another name would smell as sweet. A man's 
a man for a' that and if you call him Jew or call him Cagot. 
So no objection should be raised maybe to classifying six hundred 
odd years as the Dark Ages, and four hundred more as Middle 
Ages, were it not for a single element of danger which clings to 
such nomenclature. This danger is that many people among 
them some who are old enough to know better think these years 
so called because they are dark, or because they are middle. And 
then the joke ceases. Dark are they in so far as our straining 
sight cannot effectually pierce them. Middle are they only 
because of the self-sufficiency which will insist that we are the 
end. Final we are to none but ourselves; assuredly not to such 
as come after us. And the world will emerge from any slight 
deluge which follows our passing more easily than it rose when 
the water subsided from under the Ark. 

iSuch a picture is presented in Morison, The Service of Man (1887), p. 177; quoted from 
Ker, op. cit, p. 3. 



The German child felt sure that the pig was called schwein 
because of its unclean habits; adults who pursue a similar un- 
toward reasoning demand that the Dark Ages be dark. Freytag 
and Seeck, to name but two of the scores who have drawn for us 
vivid pictures of barbaric Germany, present telling scenes of lean- 
ness and famine, brute force and brutish instinct, in these times. 
Who doubts the particularistic accuracy of their knowledge of 
the sources ? It is only in their final assembling of facts, in their 
grouping of figures, that they fail to impress us utterly. Our 
gaze, dissatisfied with the meager story of the picture, is ever 
hunting beyond and behind for trace of the fulness, of the ruddy 
color, which we feel to belong in some measure to any age. 

Let us dwell for a moment on the cause of this dissatisfaction 
which we rightly feel. Seeck, for example, like any other student 
of times which are dead, gets his information from a treble source: 
(1) from MSS contemporary with the events they chronicle; (2) 
from MSS of later ages which rely partly on hearsay and rumor; 
(3) from books which interpret MSS and other books not acces- 
sible to him. Now from these sources he derives a certain sum 
total which he interprets in "terms of his own preconceived judg- 
ment and this judgment is necessarily largely affected for good 
or ill by the conventional attitude of his immediate environment. 
Add to this the fact that but a vanishingly small portion of the 
manuscripts of remote times is left us escaped from fire and sword, 
neglect and Jesuitry, mildew and the worm and one must agree 
that the life and spirit the very nature of an age is hidden 
from us. Certain of the conventions which gripped man's life in 
the past we may clearly read in manuscripts; several of the out- 
ward semblances which masked his under-life show bright from 
chronicles and memoirs long gone. Ceremonial and clothes, the 
external trappings of soul and body, the furniture of existence, are 
ours perhaps for the asking. But life can be distilled from these 
by no known alchemy. For what of the spoken word and the pitch 
of it, the careless laugh and the cause of it, the dying melody and 
the infection of it, the sigh and the meaning of it? We do not 
know barbaric Germany ; we shall not hear and see it in any reve- 
lation which this world will bring. The essence of it, the aroma 



and surface-touch of it, are gone past recall ; nothing is left of it 
but recorded facts which bear it the ratio that an incomplete and 
stumbling lexicon bears the speech of the present day. 

In one way these are warmed-over commonplaces, and may be 
lightly dealt with. In another way they must be recited like a 
credo by many of us before we go to our business of studying 
olden times. Otherwise we fall into the error of those who hold 
ages deftly in their grasp while they sum these ages in a sentence. 
How neatly turned is the following paragraph one of the sort to 
be met with so nearly anywhere: 

Throughout the Middle Ages life was so hard to live that ornament 
was impossible. You cannot imagine a primitive Briton embellished 
with the manners of the macaronis. Even the savage who decorates his 
canoe or polishes his kava-bowl approaches nearer to delicacy than did 
our woaded, touzle-headed ancestor; etc., etc. 1 

For just how many hundred years will Mr. Whibley have us 
believe our ancestor was "Then the monster, then the man | Tattoo' d 
or woaded, winter-clad in skins" ? And how can this author assert 
that ornament was impossible when our ancestor took such pains 
with his woad? He may even have had a lyric or two, although 
he possessed not the throat of a troubadour or the manner of a 
macaroni for Botocudo and Mincopy have lyrics as surely as 
they have kava-bowls. 

Suppose the Dark Ages were dark. How dark were they? 
There is nothing whimsical about this query which Maitland 2 
discusses with so much point. Let us adapt his figure: We who 
live in the twentieth century are within a room in which a rush- 
light is burning; contrasted with the brightness of this room, the 
outer world shows black, although it is filled with serviceable twi- 
light. On the road without are the figures of past centuries; let 
us say the figures of the time of Tribal Migration. Do we open 
our casement and cry out to them, "Have a care, or you will break 
your shins!"? Yes, we are tempted to do this; for we of little 
light believe less light to be pitch-darkness. Pechkohlraben- 
schwarz is the background of thunder-cloud given five centuries of 
German life, that the epic giants of the vOlkerwanderungen may 

iCharles Whibley, The Pageantry of Life (1900), p. 8. The Dark Ages, pp. 23 ff. 



be properly foreshortened in the middle-distance; that the recru- 
descence of gray and gloomy ecclesiastical literature may be 
explained. There is nothing essentially dark about the life of 
these centuries, unless it be that we have read their story from a 
fairly large body of tedious churchly literature, and have imagined 
that existence under the conditions therein described must have 
been tolerably boresome. Should a certain sort of present-day mis- 
sionary tract happen to be that one kind of reading-matter handed 
down to our epigonists, and should they interpret our life in terms 
of it, they might well consider themselves fortunate in not having 
fallen athwart an earlier age. 

The sentimental figures which dominate the later popular Ger- 
man epics likewise aid in creating belief in darkened times. Mr. 
Francke draws us a grim picture of the migration period, and 
engenders within us a decided aversion to this time of gray and 
red: Alboin forcing upon his queen her father's skull as a drink- 
ing-cup ; Rosamunde poisoning her paramour Helmichis, to satisfy 
her wanton desire for another; Sigibert murdered by the emis- 
saries of his son Cloderic, who in turn is brained from behind 
with an ax by order of Clovis; the aged Brunhilde convicted of 
the murder of ten of her house, tortured for three days and torn 
asunder by wild horses. We seem to be listening to muffled tales 
of the House of Atreus when our ears are met by notes like these. 
And yet how changed is crime by advancing civilization? With 
the memory of fresh atrocities gleaned with each new day from 
the public prints, can dwellers in American cities assert honestly 
that much betterment has been had? A difference in method of 
the performance of crime between the seventh and the twentieth 
centuries may be noted we scarcely use wild horses today, for 
example but no difference in quality. And as to quantity, who 
can surely say that fewer crimes exist today ? Ah, but the news- 
papers exaggerate! is the despairing protest. Yes, but then so did 
the minstrels who sang of the giants and the horrors of their day. 
And these minstrels were the newspapers of their time. 1 

The antidote to Mr. Francke's picture, however, we have in 

i Cf. Weinhold, Die deutschen Frauen im Mittelalter,* Vol. II, pp. 131 ff ; Vogt, Lebenu. 
Dtchten der deutschen Spielm&nner (1876), passim. 



recorded literature of higher authority than attaches to any min- 
strel's roster. Cassiodorus tells us of Theoderic, the Italian prince, 
as he counsels with his chamberlain regarding measures to be 
taken with the harlots who ply their trade at the crowded entrance 
to circus and theater. Here are the half-mythical proportions of 
Theoderic shrunk ; his beard, it is safe to say, is no longer touzled 
like that of Whibley's ancient Briton, but trained by a supple 
Roman barber; he turns maybe in leisure moments to Petronius 
Arbiter, as Napoleon did to the Sorrows of Werther and there 
is no absurdity in the picture. We have merely had, like Mr. 
Francke, preconceived notions as to the Theoderic of conscious 
literature, and woe to him if he fall out of his r6le as an epic 
figure! His stance is with Sigfrid the Nibelung, with Etzel the 
Hun, and with that melancholy Hamlet of a Hagen von Tronje 
with glooming Wate and with Hildebrand. 

And oh, for the season's myth, with its creaking apparatus of 
spring-god and waberlohe, valkyrie and Walhalla! And oh, for 
every attempt to lead things mediaeval and things new back to 
that reaction of man upon nature in the ultimate days of man's 
childhood! Mythological concepts have been so gaining ground 
of recent years that Haupt once prophesied no cock would crow, 
no goat send forth its natural odor, but that some follower of 
Jakob Grimm would convert them straightway into symbols of 
Teutonic deity thirteenth -century redactions of animal fable 
and popular epic which revert directly to the beginning of things ! 
What are these but no uncertain indications that we regard the 
Dark Ages as a dimly lighted nursery in which man spent his 
infancy, babbling and prattling naively as children will. 

Who has not heard of the mediaeval renaissance which Scherer 
erected of the dry bones of Notker, the Waltharilied, and Ros- 
witha? This period of "bloom" Scherer gave two culminating 
points 800 A. D. and 1000 A. D. Let us regard such exercise 
of the imaginative faculty kindly; for did one cease attempting 
to rend the veil which shrouds the life of these centuries, all 
would remain in darkness. Let us patiently consider a theory of 
efflorescence built of such slender materials as these, even if it is 
amusing to witness the few known literary values shift rapidly 



from one base to another, to form new combinations before each 
new theory of appreciation. Turn off the illumining light of fancy 
from the conscious literature of this time which has reached down 
to us, and the year 800 still belongs to the Dark Ages. Thumb 
the electric switch of this same illumining light, and 800 suddenly 
becomes Mediaeval Renaissance Culminating Point Number One. 

And yet I prefer Scherer's "restoration" to the proems of 
Ampere 1 and Bahr, 2 Ebert, 3 Grober, 4 and Manitius, 5 who would 
have us believe that lyric poetry was dead in the tenth century in 
Europe. Scherer reads between the lines and behind them ; the 
others but strip the surface-peelings of meter and verbiage from 
the poets of five centuries, and say in their haste: Originality is 
dead. Scherer would reconstruct a Parthenon from a broken 
column and a bit of frieze ; Traube the while suggests taking away 
from Alcuin a poem because hiems occurs within it as a dissyllable. 6 
Scholars are busy in forgetting that it is unsafe to reason from 
literature to life, except as one may choose the former for the 
simple sake of analogy. They suppose literature in some vague 
unexplained way to be an index to the social life of a time; this 
life is therefore read in terms of it; and then the literature in 
turn is interpreted in terms of the life which has thus curiously 
been discovered. Such a method of progression but describes 
a circle which brings us back to the original point of departure. 
After a few such peripheral tours all sense of direction and all 
direction of sense are lost. 

Traube's exact historical method of narrow deduction from 
known facts is no safer than the inductive process by which Scherer 
builds up a forgotten age. Traube cannot see a lyric, unless he 
be shown one ; Scherer knows that the requisite of lyric impulse 
and achievement exists in every environment that it is as fixed 
as the stars. Like the stars, its glory may pale if the attention 
of man has been caught and held by a stronger light, but the 
impulse is ever there. 

1 Op. cit. 

2 Die christlichen Dichter und Geschichtschreiber Boms 2 (1872). 3 Op . cit. 

* " tJbersicht ftber die lateinische Literatur (550-1350)," GrObers Grundriss (1902), Vol. II. 

5 Geschichte der christlich-lateinischen Poesie (1891). 

6 Karolingische Dichtungen (1888), p. 76. 



Let us apply the Scherer method to something. Let us see if 
we can make a fair case for the presence of profane lyric during 
a time which has handed down to us in lyric form only the church 
hymns. We are not to prove a point, remember. We are merely 
to try to make it as reasonable to believe there was a Latin profane 
lyric at a certain time, as to believe there was not one. Scholars 
have rummaged this certain time through, found no actual pro- 
fane lyrics, and therefore said perhaps rightly that there were 
none. And now for the method: 

We may read the presence of profane lyric from the church 
hymn, which would seem to furnish an analogy too undeniable to 
gainsay. From the fifth century on the fervor of man's love for 
his Maker shone forth in unquestioned beauty from the religious 
lyric. Would you deny that aspirations of sense less idealized in 
tone paralleled these? It was a real world that was abjured in 
poems which variously prayed for the advent of the Holy Spirit and 
the Day of Wrath or a world of straw. If a real world, then it 
held fast in its grip the wit and beauty of passing generations, for it 
was hardly escaped by prayer and fasting ; it was filled with allure- 
ments to the flesh, for even to the ascetic eye the devil appeared 
in very pleasing guise. Are these things historically documented ? 
Yes. Where? In lyric hymnology. A rainy afternoon spent 
with a collection of early hymns will prove the statement. Did 
some literature record this profane poetry, even if such literature 
was transitory and fed everywhere to the flames by some ultimate 
Louis the Pious? Yes. For if profane lyric song was not feared 
by many a Notker, then verily was the snare of the fowler not 
set then Christian hymnology is an anomaly. For it counseled 
perpetual flight from nothing when none pursued. Why deal with 
the world and the lusts thereof, as if expression of these had 
changed considerably within the last few hundred years ? Why 
judge all the world in the fifth or in the tenth century by a litera- 
ture which fled the world and looked upward instead of outward? 
A most apt illustration crowds to utterance: 

I doubt if a sharper contrast exists anywhere along the road 
of man's mental progress from religious vegetation to absolute 
egoism than is met with in two records of the tenth century. The 



first of these deals with the entries of a monk during a period of 
twenty-four years. They are four in number and follow: 

A. D. 914. The Saracens were driven from all Italy. 

926. Radechis the lord-abbot died. 

931. The altar of St. Benedict was refurnished. 

938. The sun was hid from the third hour to the fifth almost. 
We saw the sun, but it had no strength either of splendor 
or of heat. We saw the sky, but its color was changed 
it was all livid. 

These are, so far as we know, the sole notations in the span of one 
man's whole youth and adolescence. How glazed the eye, how 
inert the spirit, which opened with slow stare to the upholstering 
of a shabby frontal piece, to the passing of a petty prelate, to a 
partial eclipse of the sun, and to emancipation from the pagan 
as if these were the four terms in an arithmetical proportion which 
spelled all of life! Led by just such evidence of poverty of wit 
as this leaf from a monk's diary, the literary critic has spoken 
pityingly of the Dark Ages unpierced by other gleams than those 
reflected from the past evening of paganism, unlighted by even 
the faintest dawn of modern times. 

But there are marsh lights playing fitfully across this sup- 
posed gloom of spirit and intellect; for another record of the 
same period is a beautiful and tender love-song. A lover in his 
rooms awaits the coming of a tardy mistress. He has prepared 
for her a spread of spices and wines like unto Porphyro's. A choir 
boy and a singing-girl are chanting sweet melodies to the music 
of lute and lyre, slaves are bearing brimming goblets of colored 
wine ; the lover bursts forth with the impassioned prayer : 

Then come now, sister of my heart, 
That dearer than all others art, 
Unto mine eyes thou shining sun, 
Soul of my soul, thou only one! 
I dwelt alone in the wild woods, 
And loved all secret solitudes; 
Oft would I fly from tumults far, 
And shunned where crowds of people are. 


O dearest, do not longer stay! 
Seek we to live and love today ! ' 

Now, who shall say whether the voice of the perfervid lover 
or that of the dullard monk utters the note of the tenth century ? 
They are each of them but one note of it ; the monkish voice the 
stronger perhaps, but the lover's voice by far less weak than is 
currently imagined. For there is every reason why monkish MSS 
have come down to us, and reasons just as near why tender love- 
songs, born of a moment's passion, past with the satiety which 
follows hard upon possession, spoken to an audience of one, 
should have been lost. What of the voices which have not pene- 
trated to us from the tenth century, or of those which we have 
heard, but not as yet understood? Some one of the voices which 
swayed hearts as the wind sways the sea may never have reached 
us and this may have been the living note of the century. 

Poetry vanishes when the mood which gave it birth has fled; 
its form remains for the after-born to study and muse on, but its 
spirit is gone. Liquid fire it may be at utterance, cold marble it 
becomes under the petrefaction of time. The sunlight dwells 
within only as it dwells in the coal that is dug from the pit. We 
know that for some short centuries certain men trembled before 
the world to come; we do not know what other shudderings ran 
through their frame shaped like our own. How can we say that 
this was cold and corpse-like because our breath cannot infuse it 
with life? We know that window-glass was not to be had in the 
tenth century, that gunpowder was not in use; but we do not 
know that the same epoch was lacking in sensuous yearning for 
those essential beauties which so satisfy us. 

Whatever our tenth-century love-song may be as regards struc- 
ture, rhythm, and authorship, one thing it must be: it must be 

i Cf. Haupt, Exempla poesis medii aevi (1834), p. 29; Du Meril, Po6sies populaires latines 
du moyen age (1847), p. 196; Symonds, Wine, Women and Song (1884), p. 14. 

Jam nunc veni, sqrqr elects 
Et prae cunctis mihi dilecta, 
Lux meae clara pupillae, 
Parsqne major animae meae. 
Ego fui solus in silva 
Et dilexi loca secreta ; 
Frequenter effugi frumultum 
Et yitavi populum multum. 
Garissima, noli tardare ; 
Studeamus nos nnnc ainare. 



part of the very spirit of the time in which it was written, so far 
as the poet lived it out. Did he reflect the past ? Not consciously 
at least, for he bolstered up his verse with no classical reminis- 
cence or allusion. Did he reflect the future? Only in so far as 
he was made prophetic by the springtime of youth and love. 
Think of a literary criticism which feels that it must relegate 
poetry as impassioned as this to the past, or refer it to a later time 
than that in which it made its appearance. The critic does this, 
however, in order that the facts in the case may correspond with 
his previously conceived theory of the matter, whatever this may 
chance to be. Thus with Lydia bella, "which must have been 
writ later than "the thirteenth century, because of its classical 
intensity of voluptuous passion" : 

Lydia bright, thou girl more white 
Than the milk of morning new, 
Or young lilies in the light! 
Matched with thy rose-whiteness, hue 
Of red rose or white rose pales, 
And the polished ivory fails, 
Ivory fails. 1 

Thus again with the Saevit aurae spiritus, which on account 
of the glowing warmth of its coloring is thought unmediseval: 

Flora with her brows of laughter, 
Gazing on me, breathing bliss, 
Draws my yearning spirit after, 
Sucks my soul forth in a kiss. 2 

Thus with that paean to victorious love Quid plus ? Collo virginis 
which is thought "unmediasval in its phrasing, because it reminds 
on the one hand of Catullus, on the other of Poliziano" : 3 

i Omitted from Du M6ril, Poesies populaines latines antfrieures au douzikme si&cle 
(1843), "parceque rien n'indique qu'elle appartienne a la p6riode dont nous publions les 
poesies." Reprinted from GaudeamusZ (1879), p. 96: 

Lydia bella, paella Candida, 
Quae bene superas lac et lihnm 
Albamquo, simul rosam rubidam 
Aut expolitum ebur indicum. 

*Carmina Burana (ed. Schmeller 1847), p. 148; Wright, Early Mysteries (1844), p. 114: 

Dum salutat me loquaci 
Flora supercilio 
Mente satis jam capaci 
Claudia coucipio. 

3 The sentence is quoted from Bartoli, I Precursori del Rinascimento (1877). 



What more? Around the maiden's neck 
My arms I flung with yearning; 
Upon her lips I gave and took 
A thousand kisses burning. 1 

Thus with the Ludo cum Caecilia, because it is difficult for the 
critic to believe that the "refinement, the subtlety, almost the 
perversity of feeling expressed in it" could be proper to a student 
of the twelfth century : 

Sweet above all sweets that are 

'Tis to play with Phyllis; 

For her thoughts are white as snow, 

In her heart no ill is; 

And the kisses that she gives 

Sweeter are than lilies. 2 

These and many other songs criticism is determined to assign to 
as late a period as possible, because they are not compounded of 
the simples which it has for the recipe of mediaeval literature. 
We are told that we may never more refer to the hymn in praise 
of Rome as a seventh-century production it has already been 
brought by an industrious paleographer three centuries nearer to 
our own time. There remains but to declare it a forgery by 
Conrad Celtes or Macpherson. 

O Rome illustrious, of the world emperess ! 
Over all cities thou queen in thy goodliness! 
Red with the roseate blood of the martyrs, and 
White with the lilies of virgins at God's right hand! 
Welcome we sing to thee; ever we bring to thee 
Blessings, and pay to thee praise for eternity. 3 

1 Carm, Bur., p. 145 : 

Quid plus ? Collo Virginia 
Brachia jactayi. 
Mille dedi basia, 
Mille reportavi. 

2 Carm. Bur., p. 151: 

Ludo cum Caecilia, 
Nihil timeat is ; 
Sum quasi custodia 
Fragilis aetatis, 
Ne marcescant lilia 
Suae castitatis. 

3 First printed by Niebuhr in the Rheinisches Museum, Vol. Ill (1829), p. 7. This hymn was 
st thought anterior to the seventh century (Du Meril, 1843, p. 239), but has recently been 

eclared a much later production ; cf. Traube, O Roma Nobilis (1891) : 

O Roma Nobilis, orbis et domina, 
Cunctarum urbium excellentissima, 
Roseo martyrum sanguine rubea, 
Albis et virginum lilhs Candida ! 
Salutem dicimus tibi per omnia, 
Te benedicimus, salve per saecula. 



Another thing than the foregoing poem which has been moved 
three centuries nearer us is that first known synodical decree 
against the familia Goliae which Pere Labbe" says is of the 
year 923, 1 but which Du Me"ril and others state half-heartedly 
must belong to the thirteenth century. If Labbe" be right, the 
tenth century becomes in a flash a time, not only of sadly twisted 
and tortuous Latin prose, but a time when Latin popular lyrics, 
cantica diabolica amatoria et turpia, are in full sweep across 
Europe ; a time when more than one poet might boast perstrepuit 
modulis Gallia iota meis. And why not ? Because, as said above, 
the life of the tenth century has been read from a certain sort of 
literature, and all literature then interpreted in terms of the life 
thus deduced. 

Small wonder, therefore, that we feel the Dark Ages dark! 
For so set are we in our view of twilight in northern Europe from 
fifth century to tenth that we can never agree to the existence of 
a whimsical Falstaff, an abbot of misrule, a bishop of Philistia, 
before the time of Walter Mapes and Philippe de Greve, Serlo of 
Wilton and Gautier de Chaiillon. The idea that Goliath could 
have entered Europe in the ninth or tenth century, thus antedat- 
ing Arnold's "philistine" by eight or nine hundred years, affects 
us unpleasantly. "But it is the bohemian and not the philistine 
who is Golias!" we cry. "And that is the point of the story!" 
retorts the initiated. For the minstrel was quick to catch the 
slur pronounced upon him by the church and adopt it for his clan 
and ilk. If scriptural authority for this be necessary, said he, 
turn to the Gospel of Nicodemus where it may all be found. 
Others than the minstrel and since his day have gloried in an 
opprobrious epithet saws culotte and Yankee among them ; why 
not he? If the minstrel could quote scriptural authority for his 
missa de potatoribus and his evangelium decium et lusorum, if he 
had the pattern of hymns to the Virgin for his Ave! color vini 
clari, why must modern pedantry insist upon the derivation of 
goliardus from gulat Why must it contend with Giesebrecht* 

iSacrosancta concilia, Vol. IX (1671), col. 1677; Mansi, Sacrorum conciliorum nova col- 
lectio (1769-92), Vol. XVIII, p. 324, evidently ascribes the decree to Gautier of Sens, who died 
in 913. Cf. Chambers, op. cit., Vol. I, p. 61. 

2 "Die Vaganten oder Goliarden und ihre Lieder," two articles in the Allgemeine 
MonatsschriftfUr Wissenschaft und Literatur (1853), pp. 10-43, 344-82. 



and Hubatsch 1 that the goliards were clerks and formed into a 
close guild? Why not frankly admit that they were none other 
than the buffoons and merry-andrews ; that their poetry was in 
accord with the spirit of its time; that it was composed by clerks 
and monks, janglers and spielleute of every description sung in 
the streets by the people as well as in the schools, the churches, 
and the courts ? However far we go in our journeying, one thing 
seems sure: the early centuries before the Middle Ages bore within 
them many, if not all, of the germs of what in literature we call 
modernity of spirit. 

For it is just in these centuries that we come upon a veritable 
joie de vivre which demands unnumbered mimes, joculatores, 
saltatores, spielmdnner to satisfy its manifold craving for pomp 
and show and entertainment. The memory of the Roman theater 
(vaudeville and pantomime) was alive throughout the western cities 
of the world ; the highroad swarmed at times with singers and per- 
formers on their way to festival, wedding, and fair. Song and 
dance, canvas and tinsel, puppet-show and horse-play, local gag and 
market-place obscenity when did these lack ? So far as we may 
judge from unavailing capitulary and synodical fulmination, they 
were rife enough in every century from the fifth to the tenth. There 
may have been no languid northern ladies to emulate the pr6cieuses 
ridicules of Rome, to adopt the drawling and doddering speech 
which Jerome characterizes, to write lyric verses for the play- 
actors as the Roman ladies did. But, mutatis mutandis, there 
was folly afoot in the north as in the south ; and not every Ger- 
man matron was content to be that ideal combination of hausfrau 
and prophetess of which history speaks so warmly. Nor is the 
matinee-girl a creation of modern conditions; for much of the 
danger of the mime, we are told in chronicles, lay in the seeds of 
lechery he sowed in immature minds during his travels. 

It is true that in the last two paragraphs we have been speak- 
ing of lyrics and literature written largely in the Latin language. 
But let us beware of neglecting as distinctly German productions 
songs which were sung in Germany, even if their dress be Latin. 1 

i-Die lateinischen Vagantenlieder des Mittelalters (1870). 

2 In another study, soon to be published, I shall show that Scherer's assertion that tha 
Latin dress of a song obscures all traces of its origin is not true. 



Why should they be less German than were the thirteenth- 
century Carmina Burana? The language of these is not the 
speech of Flaccus made boorish and degenerate by mangling and 
decay of time and culture; it is the breath of the poet's quivering 
nostrils. And the poet is German, as like as not. The Latin is 
his thief's cant, his beggar's whine, his provision against starving. 
He uses it for gain, as others of his clan the janglers and the 
harlots do their merchandise. But it is more than jargon it is 
more than the vehicle of his longing for meat and drink and lust. 
His spirit moves in it to unutterable invective and satire ; he feels 
in it. This German has made Latin his very own, has adapted it 
to his condition, to the measure of his time and its thought. 
Linden maybe tilia and nachtigall be philomela; but these are not 
of Ovid, these are of the landscape about him. And Cecilia and 
Phyllis and Juliana these are the buxom wenches of his travels ; 
they are no lay figures from antique pastorals; and their homeli- 
ness shines through the drab and purple of their borrowed plum- 
age as an Iphigenie of Weimar does through the gloss of her 
Greek costume borrowed and worn for but a night. Verteufelt 
human despite their momentary pose in art! And the nature- 
introductions ? These are not the personification of the vis naturae 
which the Latin school poets used confess them frankly German 
as they are. 1 

i It is the insistence upon the Latin form of the Carmina Burana which causes the 
vexatious words of Saintsbury (The Flourishing of Romance, 1897, p. 6). They are, he 
thinks, inimitable stylistic exercises which owe their comedy to play upon words ; to subtle 
adjustment of phrase and cadence ; to graceless catachresis of solemn phrase and tradition- 
ally serious literature ; to the innuendo, the nuance which they impart to dog-Latin. Now, 
who shall find in such words as these a fit describing of the satire, of the love for springtide 
and women which he remembers in early mediaeval Latin lyrics 7 Who will be so blinded 
by the study of form as to regard as jocund "the concentrated scandal against a venerated 
sex of the De conguge non ducenda "f A more patient insight will recognize the moral aim 
and the religious significance of this philippic. And yet such dubitable characterization of 
Latin lyrics would not be vexatious in that it voices the mistaken impression of a single 
essayist, but rather because it is met with so nearly everywhere. The goliard songs are 
clearly written for melodies, it is said, and some of them are very complicated in structure, 
suggesting part-songs and madrigals with curious interlacing of long and short lines, double 
and single rhymes, recurrent ritornelles, and so forth. 

The impression left by such words is one of stilted complexity, whereas the opposite is 
more often true. Many of these texts have been maimed to fit them properly to music, but 
many more are of such simple tenor and directness that they charm by reason of their very 
ingenuousness. And music, other than mere droning volksweise or strophic rfcitatif, was 
ordinarily added after the text had been made. Sure proof of this we have in the case of 
many a mediaeval Latin lyric ; for we know that the amorous odes of Horace were fitted to 
hymn tunes, and that goliards composed erotic songs in the convenient mold of churchly 



If the form of a poem be the main element from which to read 
the spirit which dominates the theme, what should we have done if 
the Nibelungen story existed for us only in the Latin dress that Pil- 
grim of Passau ordered made for it by some court tailor? Should 
we have discovered in this lost Latin epic all the Germanic life and 
soul which we conceive to animate the thirteenth-century German 
redaction? Scarcely. For does not Trench 1 at the very moment 
of naming the Waltharius, the Reinhardus Vulpes, and Fulbert's 
song of the nightingale speak of "that dreariest tenth century, 
that wastest place, of European literature and of the human mind" ? 
Might we not rather draw the opposite conclusion? Might we 
not say that German epic and ballad, village-yarn and lyric, were 
set particularly fast in the minds of people when they shimmer 
everywhere through a literature written down in Latin and within 
the walls of a monastery ? Do not the tales of the monk of St. Gall 
andRuodlieb, the Waltharilied and theEcbasis Captivi, Schroder's 
Latin dance-measure and Werner's spring-songs, 2 tell of German 
tale and lyric in these "wastest" times? Does the delectable 
pots-and-pans scene in Roswitha's Dulcitius remind the reader 
of Terence or of a schwank? And no stretch of the imagination 
is required to conceive such a theme as that of her twice-told 
harlot and hermit story existent in German minstrel repertory 8 
long before it entered the gates of Gandersheim. 

Let us use JRuodlieb as a paradigm for study. We learn from 
it that Latin was the vehicle for any serious attempt at authorship 
in this wastest time ; that a language modeled on Vergil and Pru- 
dentius had become flexible enough to describe the environing 
world of men and nature. It also makes manifest how deeply 
monastic philosophy penetrated literature and how people relied 
for truth upon maxim, the unnatural history of the Physiologus, 
and sheer rumor. These and other things this novel evidences 

trope and motet. Thus, though music was often made a procrustean bed to which the text 
must fit, changing and twisting to suit the needs of the melody, the very same text in other 
versions which have not been re-edited for the sake of some pre-existent melody show clearly 
enough how simple the original structure of the poem was. 

i Sacred Latin Poetry 3 (1874), p. 47. 2 Germania, Vol. XXXVII, p. 230. 

3 In some such form as the story of the snow-child, or the tale of the Swabian who out- 
witted the king. For a sympathetic study of Roswitha's effort and environment cf. Winter- 
feld, "Hrotsvit's literarische Stellung," Archiv f. d. Studium d. neueren Sprachen, Vol 
CXTV (1905), pp. 26 ff. 



to the literary historian, and they have come to be part of the 
stock knowledge of every passing student. Measures and values 
to determine the condition of designedly artistic literature in 
tenth- and eleventh-century Germany have therefore been got 
from this source and other like springs of information, and con- 
sequent dicta have been formulated. These dicta quite unfail- 
ingly compare the sad condition of mediaeval German literature 
in the tenth and eleventh centuries with the happy upswing of 
the two following centuries which culminated in Vogelweide, 
Eschenbach, Gottfried, Hartmann, and the rejuvenated Edda- 
torso. This process of evaluation is succinct, exact, and based 
upon warrantable fact. 

It is a process, however, which eliminates, or at best subordi- 
nates, the popular background of Ruodlieb. And just this monk- 
ish novel, despite its unwieldy hexameters, despite the fine feathers 
of its contemporary erudition, bears no uncertain testimony that 
the gist of it, one might almost say all that is good of it, is derived 
from popular literature. The characterization of the actors in this 
mosaic romance may have been due, as so often stated, to the 
genius of its author; but is more likely to have existed in prece- 
dent generations of mdrchen and schwdnke. And, what is more 
important, the spirit and color of some of it must have found 
expression in lyric form before it was made narrative. 1 This 
antecedent body of tales and lyrics finds better proof from Ruod- 
lieb than does the first "classical period of heroic song and story" 
which Scherer assumes to be back of the Hildebrandslied. Now, 
neither of these two "periods" should be over-readily accepted 
even as working hypotheses perhaps, but they do both answer 
well to the truth that the germs of every renaissance 2 are found, not 

1 Some statement of this is made below. 

2 Why will we so persist in positing " periods ' ' and " times of new birth " in our histories 
of literature? For is not the final test of any " renaissance " a numerical one after alii The 
great revival which took hold of Europe from the fifteenth century on is of supreme impor- 
tance as a movement, I take it, not because it carried in its bosom all the treasures of the 
past and all the glories of the future, but rather because it was heard and shared so nearly 
by all men. The so-called Abortive Renaissance in the reign of Charles the Great was still- 
born in that it penetrated the hearts of so few men, rather than because it made literature 
the handmaid of theology. The merely numerical question as to how many men in Charles's 
realm participated in this " renaissance " is as instructive in its suggestiveness as the similar 
query concerning the number of children affected by the Slaughter of the Innocents. A 
vanishiugly small group in either case despite Scherer and Gustavo Dore. 



in the traditional elements of antiquity which conscious artists 
conventionally copy, but in the vernacular body of popular tra- 
dition which precedes such florescence, in the "humbler" literature 
which is part of the very spirit of the time itself. Thus when, as 
with Ruodlieb and with earlier Latin literature in Germany, 
criticism looks singly to the form and denies content and theme, 
the spirit of a time is sure to be misunderstood, in so far as it is 
reflected in story and lyric. There were, that is, in mediaeval 
Latin literature no single elements calculated to produce so great 
a novel as Rtiodlieb, such limpid lyrics as the Carmina Burana. 
The impulse which was life-giving came from the German spirit 
of the age that gave them birth. There was in Latin literature 
everywhere the frame, the form, the pliant meter, the ready rime; 
but for the cosmopolitan breath of them the awakening spirit of 
the tenth and twelfth centuries had no other model, no other point 
of departure, than in the natural, national basis beneath them. 

Now, who would say that there was in the tenth century so 
perfect a body of lyric verse as there was in nineteenth-century 
Germany ? None, I imagine. For Goethe and Uhland and Heine 
may be accounted masters of literary technique and artistic 
expression beyond any presumable tenth-century lyrist, just so 
surely as they surpass in these respects Reinmar, Walther, and 
Hausen. But, except for this matter of form, is there added 
excellence of treatment? Is there, as Ker asks, any sudden shock 
of transition in turning from Goethe, Hugo, or Tennyson to the 
twelfth -century rimes of Provence? Except purely as a matter of 
form, is the development of erotic passion arrested at certain 
stages in a nation's history, to overflow at other stages the edge 
of the brimming cup? Is the difference in art-expression, that is, 
a variation in underlying emotional capacity, or is it a variation 
in the use of terms? 

If one might in a single graphic sentence describe the attitude 
which our minds ordinarily assume toward early German poetry, 
I imagine it would read much as follows : Rome had a great body 
of literature of much beauty ; corruption from within and the bar- 
barian from without destroyed it ; for some centuries the primitive 
German hordes cared not for poetry other than for an epic song 



of certain native attractiveness; gradually, however, cosmopolitan- 
ism set in, and all the forces of the new culture and of broadening 
life brought about the tardy bloom of lyric and drama. 

Well, as a study of literary form apart from literary theme 
this sentence might stand perhaps, although I doubt if anything 
but the final polish of artificial poetry is brought by one 
people to another of a different clime and period. But as a study 
of theme such a sentence is vastly misleading. For we may 
classify the lyrics of Heine under Jeanroy's three captions as 
easily as we can those of any forgotten twelfth -century lyrist. 
Heine undoubtedly had at his disposal a conventional symbolism 
which his unknown predecessor lacked ; he was heir to a thousand 
whimsicalities of expression unused by the earlier epoch, but the 
basic ingredients of the lyric of both artists were at hand. The 
sun which colors flowers colored youth more years ago than a 
thousand. Fragrance of flower and of youth found expression of 
some kind to stir contemporary sense. Uses of flower and youth 
are much the same in any age, except as under differing conven- 
tions they come to various art-expression. 

In the human rutting-season, when Darwin's male called 
rhythmically to proethnic female, the form of the lyric was simpler 
than when seons later, under the formulae of etiquette, of caste, 
and of religious strife, the sexes were segregated. But in the 
former time there was hindrance to natural selection, though not 
in the shape of a castle wall; there was coquetry, though not 
carried on with guitar and fan; there were lyric impulse and 
incoherence, though they did not find expression in the artificial 
senility of minnedienst. 1 And who shall say that this rutting- 

1 Jespersen will not wait for Lyric until Language came. He assures us that men sang 
out their feelings before they were able to express their thoughts. He thinks of the first 
utterance of humankind as " something between the nightly love-lyrics of puss upon the 
tiles and the melodious love-songs of the nightingale." These words are unreasonable, con- 
tends many a critic of Jespersen 's at least they are undignified. Dignity! How art thon 
confounded with starchy stiffness of mien. Must we forever follow Whitney and Madvig, 
and picture primitive man as majestically poised, ponderous in manner like the modern 
scholar whose shoulders bend beneath their Atlas-load: the burden of the accumulated 
wisdom of the centuries? Instead of portraying to us before language an all-enveloping 
silence a void of sound like unto the formless earth and the darkened deep of Genesis ; 
instead of contending that man achieved language by hypodermically injecting thought- 
content into the phonetic result of muscular efforti Jespersen believes that language, like 
lo*e, was born in the courting-days of mankind. Lad and lass vie with one another to 
attract the other sex ; the source of speech lies, not in seriousness, but in merry play and in 



season did not disappear uncounted thousands of years ago ? Cer- 
tainly not the anthropologist. To the best of our recorded 
knowledge, the Germans of the first century after Christ had a 
reverence for women which no modern time has exceeded. There 
was sufficient incentive for the poetical expression of sighing ardor 
in a law which regarded sin against chastity as unflinchingly as 
did the Mosaic code. 

What form this expression took we do not know. It was not 
exposed by Tacitus. Perhaps it was not thought fit for serial 
publication in the Germania or the Annales. But because we do 
not find from this time conscious treatment of sighing ardor as 
literature, we need not necessarily suppose there was stint of it in 
the social life of the period. If the philologist may place an 
asterisk before a word which the eye of man has not seen, and 
denominate this word urform, nicht belegt, we may star a lyric or 
two now and then which the ear of man has not heard. Except 
for matters of pure externality, he who would deny the German 
of the "dark" ages a lyric must be prepared to carry the burden 
of proving his contention. 

What may have been the nature of the submerged lyric, the 
popular forms of which continued in Germany throughout the 
obscure centuries prior to the final budding and blossoming of 
minnesang ? 

Early Latin, we know, possessed at least five distinguishable 
sorts of popular song: (1) rustic dance-measures sung and trodden 
after the labor of a day in the fields; (2) sailors' chanteys; (3) 
soldiers' marching-songs; (4) mendicant stanzas of the beggar 
soliciting alms ; (5) fescennine verses for nuptial rites. Document- 
ary evidence for all of these exists and to be quite at peace with 
the literary critic we shall rest content to pretend that no other 
kind of popular song whatsoever was ever sung in early Latin 
times than just those which have happened to come down to us in 
the above enumeration. The question of accent versus quantity 

youthful hilarity. Everyone is singing his best and dancing his bravest to lure a pair of 
eyes. On the rim of the world life is green and gay. And if we are to believe certain theor- 
ists, and agree that several hundred thousand years later European life was all grim epic 
and nowise soft-lyricwhy, then the world was dying of old age and rigor mortis was upon 
it. But tenth-century Germany was not primitive. 



(rhythm versus meter) will be no bone of contention; the critic 
may continue undisturbed in his belief that it took several 
Christian centuries to effect the miracle of accentual utterance in 
singing Latin verses. It is enough for us to know that while 
Cicero was declaiming to partially interested benches in the 
senate, while Vergil was toiling at the funeral pyre of Dido with 
never a misplaced quantity, nightingales were singing in the 
Italian woods. 

Now, the fescennine verses which pre-Christian Latin knew 
appear in European literature certainly as early as the eighth 
century; grossly obscene, doubtless, so that one may not deny the 
proud claim of their authors non es poeta, Priape, fascinosior 
nostro; caustic rhymes, as different from the calm purity of nar- 
rative popular poetry as the sting of a bee is different from the 
song of a lark; but so clutching in their ribaldry that in later 
ages all the fulmination of church and state availed as nothing 

O O 

against them. 

Every race possesses a popular literature whose spirit is a 
scurrilous wit; 1 the people's songs and tales are as racy as they are 
racial before they have been pruned by convention and prepared 
for parlor presentation. Such rank verbiage betokens a virility 
beyond that enjoyed by any form of polite or conscious literature. 
The one element in the age-long history of literature which has 
remained immutable amid all the eddying and shifting currents 
of change is this same scurrilous wit ; this stinging, plaguing, tor- 
menting, coarse- fibered wit; facetiae, fabliaux, schwdnke, schnur- 
ren, dorfgeschichten, jeux partis coherent and identical un- 
varying in their grotesque situation-humor and caricature. Not 
necessarily sensual is this wit, but materialistic, viewing man 
frankly as an object among objects in the visible universe, as a 
product of nature like the plants and the animals. From the 
earliest gestanzeln and winileod of the Carolingian nunneries to 
the latest epigram of the Tyrolese peasant, there has been no per- 
mutation of it. If one but study the modern schnaderhupfel 
under the guidance of Gustav Meyer or Schuchardt, one will find 

iCf. the writer's "Studies in Popular Poetry," pp. 14 f., Decennial Publications, 
Chicago, 1902. 



close kinship between these vernacular reaping-couplets and the 
antithetic, often leprous, Latin fescenninae. 

Satire and sarcasm of much thoroughness would seem a heritage 
of the German. In that bagan which was more than half the 
battle, in the gabs which rilled the mouth to cracking what have 
we in early popular balladry but the flash of these everywhere? 
What were the rhapsodical lyrics which adversaries threw into 
each other's teeth when Hildebrand and Hadubrand faced each 
other when Walther of Aquitaine snarled at Hagen when the 
adultress and the red-haired thief of Ruodlieb stood bare before 
the multitude at the scaffold's edge? Lost are these in lyric 
form, but they can be read, with no amazing cleverness to help 
one, from the narrative dress which clothes them. Schimpflied and 
schlumperlied can scarce have failed in ages of simple hate, boast- 
ing, and revenge ; ages which were pervaded by drunkenness, and 
the custom of rapine and slavery; ages where impulse was father 
to the deed, with no obstacle to intervene. Lyric pervigilia there 
must have been during those most astounding festivals which 
filled the time from polterabend to brautbett. Narrative strophes 
may have sufficed for the village yarn of the sentimental middle- 
class mother who hears of the returning Ruodlieb from the boy 
in the tree ; but there was lyric utterance of a kind back of the 
lost episode of the lady-of-the-garters who had been overgood to 
the clerk, back of the text which a most emancipated frdulein 
reads to the surprised nephew, back of the dying moan which the 
outraged husband makes to his young wife. And in times when 
deformity and disease were considered a scourge from heaven 
there were mocking-songs. Who would say that the mischievous 
spirit of such spottlieder so avoided the vocative case of address, 
so avoided the second-personal note of direct apostrophe, that the 
narrative third person of the preterit indicative was alone felt to 
answer? 1 

And the mendicant songs. Gypsy and outlaw, mime and min- 
strel, bear-leader and itinerant peddler, clerk and quack, were 
each on his own pilgrimage bent. Every age has its freemasonry 

1 As in the mocking stanza on the jilting of Liubene's daughter, preserved to as in a 
ninth-century manuscript (cf. Mftllenhoff u. Scherer, Denkm&ler* (1892), No. XXVIIB"); or 
the verse on the man from Chur (KOgel, Littgesch., Vol. I, part 2, p. 165). 



of wayfarers; and every age which has given us record of such 
has left us many a whining stanza to elicit pity and alms. When 
monastery furnished asylum to these creatures of circumstance, 
the labors of the quiet monk who bent above the unfinished 
initial were often interrupted by scurvy chants of drinking which 
parodied Bible and hymn. In earlier times, when the sky was 
the only roof for the heads of schirmaer, gigaer, goukelaere, and 
schuolaere before the adoration of the Virgin had given the 
model for potatoria, the New Testament evangels for lusoria, and 
scarce-remembered lines from Ovid and Flaccus the very mold 
for amatoria the scene rang with vagabond lyric; unless with 
the literary critic we would deny the solace of song to an age 
which needed it sorely in the open and at the chimney breast, 
merely because the only tones which have reached us in the con- 
scious literature of the educated classes of these times are those 
of harp and organ. 

Kfirting finds in the national character of the German a min- 
gling of contrasting elements: a masculine fierceness and coarse- 
ness adjoined to a certain emotional susceptibility, a dreamy 
melancholy quite feminine in tone. These contrasts are manifest 
in Anglosaxon poetry. The clash of swords and the rattle of 
mail sound forth in Beowulf, in the Fight at Finnsburg, in 
ByrhtnoWs Death and other epic pieces. But side by side with 
these is the elegiac sentimentality of such poems as the Ruin, the 
Wife's Complaint, the Husband's Message and the Complaint of 
Deor. If it be unwise to advert to them as distinctly lyric pieces 
because of their verse-structure and mannerism of diction, it is 
still permissible to say that these four compositions show clearly 
enough what the character of a real body of early Germanic song 
was like. Lyric song, too, which may equally as well have been 
taken across the English Channel from an original continental 
home, as any materia epica found in Beowulf or the Fight at 
Finnsburg. But it is only the absence of such lyrical pieces in 
any known German manuscript which leads the historian to assert 
that a national literature began to develop in Germany much 
later than in Britain. And despite this lack it would seem that 
the testimony of the Hildebrandslied was enough to convince 



him that an abundant and early folk-poetry existed in Germany, 
one which need not have been exclusively heroic and epic in tone. 
A like message may be read regarding Francia from the song 
which celebrates the victory of Chlotar over the Saxons in the 
year 620, and which the women still used in the ninth century as 
a dance-song, or from the presumable historical ballad which 
deals with Childebert's campaign against Saragossa in 542. 1 For, 
did we possess no other mention of Anglosaxon lyrics, we might 
yet read of their presence in the Wanderer or the Seafarer. 
And when we meet in the Hildebrandslied no small degree of 
aesthetic maturity how shall we believe that the artist ever found 
his appeal alone in the form of the heroic epic, rather than in the 
mold of lyric elegy? 

Are these lyrics of one sort and another, which we have just 
been discussing, German in form or Latin? Sometimes the one 
without doubt, sometimes the other, and not improbably on occa- 
sion that strange doppelbrdu of "lustic Tiutsch und schoen Lattin 
als ein frischen brunnen und starken win gemischet," of which 
Trimberg speaks. Controversy as to whether these lyrics did or 
did not exist before the eighth or ninth century in Germany is of 
small avail, for neither side of the contention can be definitely 
proven, if manuscript tradition be relied upon. 2 Simply because 
the manuscripts do not exist, so far as we now know. But per- 
sonally I doubt if I shall ever be convinced that the German 
lyric, such as we have almost continuously known for eight cen- 
turies or more, was non-existent before say the year 1150, being 
discovered between night and morning of some individual day. 
Nor shall I believe it imitated from a foreign source in any of its 
essential phases. Nor shall I deem it a thing consciously evolved. 

1 Cf. Lenormant, Bibliotheque de Vficole des Chartes, I, 1, p. 821. 

2 We have likewise no French manuscripts prior to the twelfth century which contain 
lyric songs. And yet who can read without feeling their inherent truth Gaston Paris's 
remarks about the lyric of the Merovingian Epoch (486-751 A. D.): "Various evidence 
shows us that at the festivals the youth of both sexes danced to the sound of songs which 
the Councils condemned as immodest, and which were merely love-songs ; that the repasts 
where the Romanised Germans gave themselves up for entire nights to their hereditary 
vice, drink, were enlivened by songs ; that satirical songs were composed which the authori- 
ties were compelled to forbid. This shows us that popular poetry was abundant." Mediae- 
val French Literature, p. 17. Cf . also Du M6ril (1847) , pp. 189 ff . ; GrOber, Zur Volkskunde 
aus ConcilbeschlUssen (1893) ; Maasen, Concilia aevi Merovingici (1893) ; GrObers, Orundriss, 
Vol. II (1902), p. 444. 



Its origin seems no mystery, nor are its functions wrapped in 
impenetrable darkness, unless we make the lyricality of any cen- 
tury depend for good or ill on a single statement of manuscript. 
It is through such literality of labor that our time has suffered 
in its conception of Dark Age and Middle Age, quite as much as 
through what criticism often regards as the extravagant and fan- 
tastic claims of Jakob Grimm, Mullenhoff, Lachmann, and Scherer. 

Where is the light? Is it in allowing nothing to any time 
long gone which is not recorded in discovered hieroglyph ? Shall 
we deny to Babylonian culture some one of the world's ingre- 
dients for pain and pleasure because of tablets yet undug? Is it 
in so emphasizing one message of a people to posterity that all 
other messages are neglected? This is but to deepen the mire 
of traditional belief until it amounts to superstition; as we are 
discovering is the case with Greek civilization which we have 
accounted so "classical" in its teaching that all its romanticism 
has been forgot. Is there no argument possible from the point 
of view of common humanity, which shows much the same in any 
age ; or shall the only testimony accepted by the court be that of 
circumstantial evidence ? 

These questions as to the life and literature of past ages can- 
not be solved. But surely, so long as the field of our immediate 
investigation be the lyric or drama, we must accept much on the 
purely emotional grounds of kinship of race and experience ; for 
we can never study distant times from deposits and strata; we 
cannot reconstruct fossil growths from bone-vertebrae ; we cannot 
apply the researches of Darwin or Spencer or Haeckel to the 
organic study of the common basis of literature, as if this were 
an accretion of protoplasm. 

Is this not universally done? I have in mind, as a striking 
instance in point, a brilliant study in cross-section of the tenth 
and eleventh centuries in Italy. There is the life of the clergy 
spread out before you, as an anatomical wall-map is unrolled 
before the astonished eyes of the schoolboy. It makes brilliant 
reading, that part of the book which seems like a blood-stained 
chronicle of the crime of old Newgate. Some of it is dull work 
particularly the section which deals with simony and church 



disorganization. But the chapter on poetry is a wonderful 
instance of how much may be left unsaid. Poetry we are told 
therein was in these centuries nothing but grammar and rhet- 
oric. Concise at least is this information; would that many a 
chapter of teaching were as succinct! But is the author right? 
Is it true that one might have walked the length of Italy during 
two centuries and never heard a happy lyric song? When one 
remembers that the Greenlander has poetry full of lyric sweep and 
love for nature, when one knows that even the Andaman Islander 
is inclined to lyric expression, what unerring testimony may our 
author have possessed, to pronounce so cathedral a statement? 
The source of his learning is discoverable: it lies in a collection 
of book-titles known as the "bibliography" of the subject. And 
the biography of the subject is to be taken from this? What 
superstitious reverence for books has fastened its tentacles on this 
enlightened age? 

With this failure fresh in mind, would it seem worth while to 
collect further evidences from conscious literature of the presence 
of the lyric in pre-media3val Germany? Would it repay the 
effort if we exhumed stray lyric bits here and there, treated 
them with formalin to repair their freshness and exposed them as 
added proof ? I doubt it. And yet there is Fridugisus's farewell 
to his cell, with its insistent note of pathos, its elegiac beauty, no 
matter if it be distorted by an occasional commonplace orthodoxy 
and the poor masque of attempted classicality. And there is 
Strabo's love-letter, as tender and pure as a quatrain of Eichen- 
dorff's. Again and again we are struck by the color and life of 
stanzas and couplets from the poetic letters of the Carolingian 
poets and their successors. Buried they often are amid endless 
chaff, but even a careless search through the convenient material 
will lead the student to acknowledge that pedantry, imitation, 
stiffness of borrowed quantitative structure, canting godward 
naught can quite obliterate even in such artificial pieces the vista 
of real poetry that stretches out behind them. And if a love for 
nature penetrated into this machine-made versification, if sunlight 
and beauty gleam through rifts in the shade cast by conventional 
piety and pose, shall we believe that the unseen and unheard 



world of laymen found no expression for the passionate unrest 
which animates ever the human breast? 

To me I confess the suggestion carried by the ballad measure 
Equitabat Sovo is as wide and conclusive as any gained from the 
most extensive of epics where light and lyric lilt are in question. 
The mere remnant of Hirsch und Hinde tells its own story quite 
as effectively as a capitulary against face-powder and love-songs, 
were the latter a thousand lines in length. The popular strophic 
structure of the Samariterin, the De Heinrico, and the Ludwigs- 
lied bespeaks an environment of song and swaying rhythm by 
the cool well under the village lindens. The verses which 
Notker used as paradigms in his rhetoric are the despised utter- 
ances of the people which live in any age. The erased love- 
song in the Cambridge manuscript is a single nugget which 
draws the gaze of the prospector to a soil which hides a mine of 
unearthed gold. 1 What are these and other like hints to mean for 
us but that the lyric choir invisible is singing? Why ask for 
more than a single yellow gleam from the parted thunder-cloud 
to tell us that the sun is shining above it, that past warmth and 
future glory are promised by it as fully as by the blaze and glare 
of torrid noonday ? And even if no single gleam appears and the 
whole sky is gray, does not the memory of other days and other 
times inform us that the sun is there, albeit shrouded from our 
human gaze? 

Which shall we subscribe to this doctrine of an ever-present 
inspiration, or that other orthodoxy of continuity which ever 
derives one thing from another? Theory of Continuity what 
sins have been committed in thy name! By what insensible 
gradations has the lyric had to grow! Tirelessly and from lower 
organisms must we trace its development. Impulse other than 
the unexplained initial impulse there has been none. Inspira- 
tion other than that first breath of God or chance has been 
impotent to alter by jot or by tittle the unnumbered accretions 

1 Scherer long ago directed attention to the beautiful Verna feminae suspiria, an 
example of pathetic fallacy which seems remarkable because of the early date of its compo- 
sition (end of tenth century). Cf. Scherer, Qetchichte d. deutschen Dichtung im XI. u. XII. 
Jahrhundert (1875), p. 8; Jaffe, "Die Cambridger Lieder," Z. f. d. Alt., Vol. XIV (1869) 
p. 492; Winterfeld, op. cit., p. 26. 



by which lyric has come to be. (And Adam begat Seth; and 
Seth begat Enosh; and Enosh begat Kenan.) Inherent need 
for utterance, recurrent power of full expression in person- 
ality, emergency of life these have availed as naught against 
the insensate ongoing of plantlike growth which finally yields 
the lyric. 

Let us see how current doctrine as to the genealogical tree of 
lyric expression sounds. Here it is : Sc6p and minstrel, trouba- 
dour and spielmann, sit with their elders in the seats of the 
mighty and sing full-throated to them as they eat. Not that the 
player actually invented his songs; he ever took his themes 
from somewhere else; he had ever been anticipated. Creation, it 
seems, was not of him, for men of a southern clime had grown up 
faster than had he, and they had stolen all his thunder. His 
very rhythms he had to get as best he could from other rhythms, 
and he lacked the consolation of knowing that these in their turn 
had been taken from things that look like rhythms but are not 
things which we call meters. Verses these meters are which 
hang suspended and without stress on the lips of their awe-struck 
utterers. But though he could not create a lyric, the minstrel 
could graft one and this afforded him some solace. So he sings 
care-free to his pleased auditors, and they pat him kindly on the 
shoulder and make him presents: a side of beef, a fur- tipped 
mantle somewhat out of fashion, or a foaming mug of ale. 

His song he stole from the church. Now, it seems that the 
clerks coming out of the portal after a two-hour session with the 
liturgy drank deep draughts of the clear, sun-lit air and warbled 
the final vowel of the allelulia-a-a-a, till one would think they 
were never going to stop. Thereafter certain pious brethren 
reduced these warblings to many different set schemes, until there 
came to be such a deal of them that none could retain them all 
without confusion. Years passed, but the knotty problem of 
mnemonic device remained. One day toward twilight a monk 
from the razed cloister of Jumieges toiled up to the gate of St. 
Gall with an antiphonary under his arm; and this book contained 
a syllable for every neume. On that evening this messiah of 
coherency freed the spirit of the mediaeval lyric, for the men at 



St. Gall now had sense to proceed with the erection of their musi- 
cal sequences so that the clerks might retain them. And the 
lyric bloomed henceforth. 

His rimes the minstrel got from a parent, who had in his turn 
derived them from certain homespun utterances of uneducated 
Romans known as popular songs. These Latin rimes too grew, 
curiously enough, quite by chance like later Topsies; for they 
could not help growing in a highly inflected language. If the 
minstrel had had them to create all out of nothing, he might well 
have failed; but happily he had nothing to do but just sit by 
until the things evolved themselves. Not that rime came first in 
full shape otherwise it might have descended overheavily upon 
the unready minstrel but little by little. First the minstrel 
must be content with the homeopathic assonance; only he must 
be careful not to speak the ultimate consonants with much dis- 
tinctness for some while, or he would rime before he was expect- 
ing it. The Latin inflection which saved the world from a 
Sahara of blank verse may now be taken up and developed from 
something else, either from kindly Olympus or from a primor- 
dial cell. 

Such is the Theory of Continuity as applied to the lyric. Its 
evident weakness lies in the fact that it presumes fifth- and tenth - 
century German to be as inefiicient as a child, as groping as the 
untutored savage. Let us believe it not. For we know that he 
who would seek the remains of primitive man must hunt him in 
kitchen-midden and in barrow; in burial mound and beneath the 
lava beds and sands of the south. If the student thinks to find 
him where many a literary critic is searching in fifth- and tenth- 
century Europe he must not look outside of manuscript tradi- 
tion; he must continue study of books alone. Let the student 
not confuse Literature with Life. For with literature as with 
men the good die young. Those whom the gods love they often 
refuse to share with posterity. 




It may be that D'Ancona is right in assuming the following 
song 1 to be welded together of three separate fragments. 2 But 
when he says it is badly welded he oversteps the mark. 3 The 
joints of a ballad may be visible after the people are done with 
their soldering, but it is often an ill thing to denominate what 
they have joined mere casual patchwork ; because reasons for such 
assembling of parts may exist, although the critic beneath his 
lamp behold them not. The volkslied is herewith divided, how- 
ever, as D'Ancona suggests: 


O morte dispietata 

Tu m' hai fatto gran torto: 
Tu m' hai tolto mia donna, 

Ch' era lo mio conforto, 
La notte con lo die, 

Fino all' alba del giorno. 
Giammai non vidi donna 

Di cotanto valore, 
Quanto era la Caterina 

Che mi don6 il suo amore. 


La mi tenne la staffa, 
Ed io montai in arcione; 

La mi porse la lancia, 
Ed io imbracciai la targa; 

La mi pOrse la spada, 
La mi calz6 lo sprone; 

La mi misse 1' elmetto. 

Io gli parlai d' amore: 

Addio, bella sora, 
Ch' io me ne v6 a' Vignone, 20 

Ad Avignone in Francia, 
Per acquistare onore. 

S' io fo colpo di lancia, 
Far6 per vostro amore; 

S' io moro alia battaglia, 25 
Morr6 per vostro amore. 

Diran le maritate: 
Morto e il nostro amadore; 

Diran le pulzellette: 
Morto e per nostro amore; 30 

Diran le vedovelle: 
Vuolsegli fare onore. 

Dove il sotterreremo? 
'N Santa Maria del Fiore. 

Di che lo copriremo? 35 

Di rose e di viole. 

i Widter-Wolf, Volkslieder aus Venetien (1864), no. 139. 

2 In his La poesia popolare italiana (1878), p. 87, D'Ancona says: "Nella seguente ci 
sembrano accozzati, e mal saldati insieme, piu frammenti di diverse canzoni : 1'uno dei 
quali va a tutto il decimo verso ; poi un altro da questo al diciassettesimo, e dal diciasset- 
tesimo fino alia fine, 1'ultimo. Cosl, come vedremo accadere assai spesso nella poesia can- 
tata e raccomandata soltanto alia memoria, si sarebbero fusi e confnsi insieme pezzi appar- 
tenenti a diversi componimenti." 

3 Such purely subjective statement is happily passing out of fashion among Italian 
folklorists. It is the old school as represented by Pitre (Studi di poesia popolare, 1872) and 
Rubieri (Storia della poesia popolare italiana, 1877) which cannot deal with facts without 
coloring them. 
275] 1 [MODEEN PHILOLOGY, October, 1906 


It has long been the favorite play of leisure moments to hunt 
through odd volumes of German schnaderhilpfel or of Italian 
ballate for the as yet undiscovered sources of certain songs of 
Wilhelm Mtiller's. 1 There are many still to be added to the 
already long list of his appropriations. 2 In one sense this delib- 
erate search for models partakes somewhat of the pettiness inher- 
ent in all source-hunting in so far at least as its underlying 
motive may at times be nothing more than to fasten the stigma of 
plagiarism upon a half -forgotten poet. But, viewed from another 
standpoint, it is important to know as fully as we may the very 
last detail of Muller's gleanings from the vernacular verse of 
earlier generations. For he had an almost unparalleled success in 
melting foreign themes and forms into the liquid simplicity of his 
own German verses, afterwards to pass them on to Eichendorff and 
Heine not even Rtickert escaped the contagion of Muller's boy- 
ish enthusiasm. Of course, it was Goethe's great confession in 
the form of lyric and ballad poetry which made up the bible of 
Romantic rhyming (with its Old Testament of Klopstock and 
Herder its New Testament of the Master in Weimar) ; but, had 
it not been for Burger, we should have been spared the schauerro- 
manze at which every adolescent contemporary tried his hand. 
Had it not been for Mtiller, late Romanticism would have lost that 
je ne sais quoi of transparent sweetness, that certain something 
of lyric simplicity and directness which so lives in its musical 

Arnold has shown Muller's pre-eminent ability in adapting 
Greek prototypes, and commented upon that deftness of touch 

1 Cf. Modem Language Notes, Vol. XIV (1899) , pp. 165, 166, 213, 214 ; ibid., Vol. XVI (1901), 
pp. 37, 38; Journal of Germanic Philology, Vol. Ill (1901), pp. 35-91, 431-91. 

2 1 have not been able to ascertain what were the printed anthologies of Italian folk- 
song which Muller made the basis of the collection that he began in 1818; only part of which 
was in the manuscript turned over by his heirs to Wolff ten years later. One has but to be 
familiar with the method of Muller's copying from Meinert (Alte teutiche. Volkslieder, 1817), 
Ziska and Schottky (Oesterreichische Volkslieder, 1819), and Fauriel (TPAFOYAIA PflMAIKA, 
1824) to be sure that it was printed and not oral material which furnished the groundwork of 
the songs which we know he adapted from the Italian. Further proof of this fact, if such 
be needed, meets one on almost every page of his Egeria. The long ballads and chapbook 
histories which occur in this book, the difficult and various dialectic verses, the villanelJes, 
chansonettos, and dialogues couched in impeccable literary diction, .inform us sufficiently 
that exacter means than those of oral transmission were everywhere used. When these 
printed sources of Muller's songs are found the songs which were later printed in Egeria, 
as well as those which the poet for obvious reasons suppressed models for certain other 
poems of Muller's will come to light. 



which Goethe and Chamisso rarely equaled; 1 and likewise the 
poet's demonstrable aptitude for rendering Italian snatches and 
south-German doggerel is little short of marvelous. In these 
fields no other Romanticist approached him. 2 

For the reasons above given, then, it seems worth recording 
that I recently came upon the source of Muller's Altitalienisches 
Volkslied while reading D'Ancona's familiar collection of Italian 
popular songs. The translation, as so often in Muller, is 
extremely close to its original. 3 Two verses are omitted (13, 14) 
as offering perhaps but a tiring repetition, a phrase or two is 
added (as amore = LieV und Leiden), but the sure and German 
reworking has all the lilt and color of the model. For the sake 
of convenient reference Muller's song is here given: 

O Tod, du mitleidloser, 

Was tat ich dir zu Leide? 
Du raubtest mir mein Madchen, 

Sie, alle meine Freude! 
Bei Nacht und auch bei Tage, 

Beim roten Morgen scheme, 
Noch nie hab' ich ein Madchen 

Gesehn von solchem Preise 
Wie meine Katharina, 

Sie, alle meine Freude! 
Sie hielt mir meinen Biigel, 

Wollt' ich zu Kosse steigen, 
Sie schnallte mir die Sporen, 

Sie tat das Schwert mir rei- 

Sie setzte mir den Helm auf . 

Ich sprach von Lieb' und Lei- 

Lebwohl, mein holdes Madchen! 

Nach Avignon ich reite, 
Von Avignon nach Franken, 4 

Mir Ehren zu erstreiten; 
Und wenn ich Lanzen breche, 

Ist's nur fur deine Liebe; 
Und wenn ich fall' im Kampfe, 

Fall' ich zu deinem Preise. 
Dann sprechen alle Frauen : 

Da liegt er, den wir meinen; 
Dann sprechen alle Madchen: 

Fur uns fiel er im Streite; 
Dann sprechen alle Witwen: 

Wie ehren wir die Leiche? 
Wo soll'n wir ihn begraben ? 

Im Dom zu Sankt-Mareien. 
Womit soll'n wir ihn decken? 

Mit Rosen und mit Veilchen. 

l Der deutsche Philhellenismus (1896), passim. 

2 Even the graceful Eichendorff , despite his Zerbrochenes Ringlein, had but ill success in 
his more concrete copying of popular lyric balladry ; testimony of which aie his Zigeunerin, 
Soldat 1 und 2, Glttcksritter, Schreckenberger, Lied mit Thr&nen, Die Kleine. A detailed 
investigation in the popular sources and technique of Eichendorff undertaken by Mr. J. H. 
Heinzelman, of the University of Chicago, will elucidate this point. 

3 Coin pare with Mnller's adaptation Ruckert's translation of the Venetian barcarola 
(" La biondina in gondoletta ") which I find in Egeria, fdd. Muller and Wolff (1829) , p. 205 ; or 
Ruckert's Roman ritoruelles which he had from Muller (-Rom, ROmerund ROmerinnen (1820) , 
Vol. I, pp. 52 ff. ; Egeria, pp. 1, 2). Compare Kopisch's renderings in Agrumi (1838), or 
Blessig's in Rdmische Ritomelle (1860), or even Heyse's in Italienisches Liederbuch (1860). 
However the comparative artistic worth of these different reproductions be adjudged, none of 
them vies with Muller's in fidelity to its original, in the unexampled ease of transference. 

* Mailer's original had evidently E da Vignone, etc., in line 21. 



Now, who will say, after reading this translation from Italian 
folk-song, that Mtiller's appraisal of his original is not more 
justifiable than D'Ancona's? If there be really seams in the 
fabric of the Venetian ballata, they mark but the sewing-together 
of a harmonious whole. None who studies popular balladry that 
does not know with what an intuitive sympathy the humble 
artist often knits together new songs out of scarce-remembered 
remnants. And Wilhelm Muller was ever content to put full 
faith in the musicality of his ingenuous model. Like ourselves 
he had doubtless heard his canzone sung from some unseen gon- 
dola across the canal, before he met with it in print. 1 He knew 
it, that is, before it was stripped of its quavering tenor note of 
intensity, before it was prepared for division into three parts by 



iln comparing Mailer's original with its translation aud noting the greater metrical 
smoothness of the latter, it must be remembered that in the one the syllables have been 
fitted to the song, in the other the song to the syllables. In the ballata, that is, a line with 
deficiency of syllables means a sostenuto note in the air, whereas an excess of syllables 
presumably marks a staccato bar. Cf . Busk, Folksongs of Italy (1887), pp. 19 f. 



Some five years ago I was industriously following the traces of 
German popular poetry whithersoever they led. With the cus- 
tomary guidebooks at hand to direct the journey, I walked the 
broad road that sweeps almost uninterruptedly from the lyrics of 
Heine, Eichendorff, and Uhland back through the volkslieder and 
meisterlieder of Reformation Germany to the earliest springtime 
of minnesang. But suddenly the trail which in its last stage had 
been growing somewhat indistinct vanished quite from view; 
strain my eyes as I might, I could yet find no further evidences 
of lyric production in Germany as I looked on backward to 
younger times to the empire of the Ottos and of Charles the 
Great. It was as if some traveler had wandered musing to the 
edge of an emerald oasis, to be rudely awakened from his reverie 
by beholding the brown silence of the desert. A moment before 
all the forest-birds had been piping from their leafy nests, but now 

Kein Vogel singt auf meinem Pfad, 
Ob meinem Haupte rauscht kein Blatt. 

Turn back I would not but how to go ahead? For some 
while all landmarks seemed to be lacking, and much time was lost 
in groping here and there in search of tangible beginnings. I soon 
had read all the theoretical expositions so conveniently listed 
by SchCnbach 2 theories that the German lyric had extraneous 
origins of various sorts, and that if one wished to learn of it before 
the year 1150 one must go far afield: either to France with 
Gaston Paris and Jeanroy, to Araby with Courthope, 3 or to the 

1 This paper was first presented to the English Club of Princeton University in Febru- 
ary, 1907. 

2 In hie Anf&nge des deutschen Minnesangs (1898). 

3 Professor Burdach has announced a study, "Uber den Ursprung des mittelalterlichen 
hofischen Minnesangs, Liebesromans und Frauendienstes," Sitzungsber. d. k. preussischen 
Akad., Vol. XXVIII (1904), p. 933. He says: "The position of the lyrical court-poet and the 
conventional concept of love in the courtly literature of the twelfth century are a novelty 
which, although it does appear in the form of a fixed literary design, may yet not be derived 
from the earlier poetry of France and Germany, or from older tradition. The possibility is 
presented that Arabian court-poetry with its erotically colored panegyric in honor of ruling 
or highly placed women was a fruitful source of influence, together with the oriental 
romantic love-story." 

423] 1 [MODEKN PHILOLOGY, January, 1908 


early mediaeval churches and schools which finally achieved 
a graceful kind of profane Latin song by imitating the sacred 
songs or the classics. Most of all I was interested in the con- 
tention of Ernst Martin that a popularizing Latin minnesang 
had preceded its German model, but I hesitated to accept this 
thesis for two reasons: first, I did not believe Martin proved his 
point from the slender evidence of the Benedictbeuern MS alone 
at least his proof could be made to read two ways; 1 secondly, 
it seemed strange that a Latin vessel should be the ampulla which 
held the baptismal oil of German lyric singing. I then believed, 
too, with Scherer that the Latin dress of a song effectually hid all 
traces of its immediate origin, and so would always reason: Why 
try to win mediaeval Latin lyrics for Germany as a popular and 
native expression, if we may never pierce the mystery of their 
birthplace? Cui bono? 

Thus I came ever back to my starting-point at the edge of the 
desert. And there might I have remained, but for a certain dog- 
gedness of purpose 2 and for Wilhelm Meyer. I may say that the 
Fragmenta burana and his other writings on mediaeval rhythms 
have harmed rather than helped on many occasions, for keen and 
deep as they without exception are, they often lead one off into 
strange fields of speculation and of subjective reasoning. But 
this one thing they taught me : From the Latin poems of the Dark 
Ages and early Middle Ages we may derive a continuous story of 
lyric writing and singing by Germans in Germany. With Grimm 

1 For a history ab avo of the discussion about the Latin and German songs in this MS, cf . 
Lundius "Deutsche Vagantenlieder in den Carmina burana," Zeitschr. f. deut. Phil., Vol. 
XXXIX (1907), pp. 330 ff. Lundius gives a convenient bibliography of this hundred years' 
strife among scholars, begun in 1807 by Docen. 

2 Because I could not forget Mullenhoff's compelling words when speaking of the liebes- 
gruss of Ruodlieb (Mallenhoff-Scherer, Denkm&ler3, Vol. II, p. 154): "This love-greeting 
should and must find a place in this collection as the oldest example of German minne- 
poetry. The teaching of Wackernagel and of Wilmanns that such love-songs, nay that the 
whole German lyric did not appear until the twelfth century does not, it is true, need such 
confutation (cf. Burdach, Zeitschr. f. deut. Alt., Vol. XXVII, p. 343; Meyer, ibid., Vol. XXIX, 
p. 121; Berger, Zeitschr. f. deut. Phil., Vol. XIX, p. 440). It is sufficiently confuted by the 
nature of man himself, and by the realization that all poetry dwells in the sensation of the 
moment and is originally but a surrendering to it. There are early examples in German 
poetry of prayers, complaints, imprecations, and songs of mock and praise ; how then should 
expression of the mightiest and most poetic impulse of all have failed until the year 1150 or 
1160? The only new thing at this time is that love-poetry crowds more undisguisedly and 
luxuriantly to utterance, that it appears in the foreground, and becomes a distinguishing 
mark of the new era." 



therefore I could now believe that the German lyric was an 
indigenous product. 

The process of reasoning which finally determined this new 
faith was simple. (1) I found no German lyrics in Germany 
before the year 1150. (2) There must be lyrics of some sort in 
Germany before this time, or we have to regard one of the richest 
and the most subjective native expressions of the modern world as 
calmly pilfered overnight from France or elsewhere. 1 (3) Latin 
lyrics were current in Germany long before the year 1150. 
(4) Many of these Latin lyrics are just the sort of thing which 
was later written in German by Germans. 

Now that my creed was once clearly defined, I had no doubt 
but that I could find confirmation and development of it in books. 
I knew that there were histories of early mediaeval literature in 
Europe written from the general view-point as well as from that of 
specific nationality. These I proceeded to read, but soon dis- 
covered that however excellent they might prove for the student 
of some particular author or monument they failed without excep- 
tion to achieve grouped pictures of different men in connection 
with the history of a movement, or of different movements in 
their relation to the history of a form, such as the evolution of 
the drama, of the lyric, etc. In other words, I found a series 
of doctor's dissertations, school-programmes, and monographs or 
an encyclopedia where I had hoped for a story of early mediaeval 
literature nowhere a ten Brink or a Scherer. 2 It was as if GrO- 
ber had said: If you find that I have failed to gather a single 
particle of waste in the Augaean stables of mediaeval Latin writ- 
ing, let my head be the forfeit. A wonderful grundriss zur 
geschichte this like the work of Ebert and of Manitius but 
we die while waiting for some poet interpreter of the Latin lyric 
of the Middle Ages. Of all men yet, perhaps Kogel has come 

1 Unless we believe that the lyric developed from an earlier undifferentiated poetry that 
was both lyric and epic. A discussion of this theory with complete bibliography pro and 
con may be found in E. M. Meyer, "Alte deutsche Volksliedchen," Zeitschr. f. deut. Alt., 
Vol. XXIX (1885), pp. 122 ff. 

2 Ferdinand Wolf longed for a history of mediaeval Latin poetry as long ago as 1841 ; 
cf. his Uber die Lais, Sequenzen und Leiche, p. 281. The first real attempt to meet this 
demand is the anonymous study on " Mediaeval Latin Poetry," Christian Remembrancer, 
Vol. LII (1866), pp. 351-92, Vol. LIII, pp. 1-36; an investigation, unfortunately, which is 
based upon slender material and an insufficient knowledge of the sources. 



nearest to interpreting the material rightly, despite the slurs of 

Even though no Daniel had come to judgment in this cause, I 
hesitated long before writing a single sentence relative to mediaeval 
Latin poetry. Conscious of the wicked irony which sparkles in 
the phrase of Forcellini totius Latinitatis lexicon aware that 
I had rummaged often enough through the folios of Du Cange to 
find myself still sole arbiter of a lyric phrase, I contented myself 
with reading what others had done in the way of casual lighten- 
ing of the burden imposed by poor texts and garbled diction, and 
where others were silent as to any one poem or set of poems, I 
occupied my time in doing what I might to penetrate the under- 
brush which so often hid the original meaning and form of such 
poetry. Thus I came to know specific works of Grimm and Du 
Me"ril and Wright, Pertz and Giesebrecht and Laistner, Dummler 
and Wattenbach and Piper, Martin and Francke and Meyer, 
Traube and Haure"au and Grober, Werner and Heyne and Winter- 
feld to recite but a few of the scores whose names are not the 
least on the herald's list of scholarship in the field of mediaeval 
Latin poetry. 

After examining this roster one might well believe that there 
was small reason for further writing on the subject of the lyric in 
the early Middle Ages; unless, that is, the new investigator would 
but stoop to pick up a seedling of knowledge left by some earlier 
gleaner in the fields of Boaz ; unless he would fill at any cost 
through some new and unimportant theory perhaps the lean 
pages of his argument. Sensitive to the imputation of the last 
two sentences I have heretofore done nothing further in the way 
of public discussion than lay down tentative prolegomena such as 
those contained in a previous study on the origins of minnesang. 
But as time sped on and I found that others were neglecting that 
upon which I wished to insist that others, often those whom I 
greatly respected, were preaching what was to me false doctrine- 
then I felt no longer bound to hold my peace. The field of the 
early mediaeval lyric may belong in a loose sense to the carefully 
trained scientist in classical forms, for it is all Latin. In another, 
and a truer, sense it may belong to the mediae valist for he 



alone is cognizant of the multiplicity of tortuous meanings with 
which for some hundreds of years the mediaeval mind loved to 
encumber itself. But the mediaeval lyric belongs pre-eminently 
to the student of modern literary forms, for without a knowledge 
of it the modernist has an end without a beginning he has the 
second term of an unintelligible ratio whose first term is x he 
has the solution of some riddle that he has never heard. 

It will be little strange if certain views arrived at below com- 
port but ill with the findings of previous judges or juries. Any 
great expression which continues for centuries, as did the medi- 
aeval Latin lyric, has, like some precious ruby, a hundred different 
facets. These catch and refract the light in myriad radiating 
arrows, depending upon the angle from which they are approached. 
My particular angle as stated at the outset is the one made by the 
German lyric and the Latin lyric at the point of their tangency. 
Of the former I can know nothing prior to minnesang, unless I 
treat of the latter. This knowledge is what has driven me to dis- 
cuss, for purposes of my own, things about which I should other- 
wise never have come to speak. 


In the introductory words to his excellent study of Latin 
school poetry 1 Francke states that the school was the workshop 
where all mediaeval Latin poetry was made. For even the lyric, 
he says, the churchly and vagabond song, cannot be conceived of 
without the influence of such an environment. 2 To be sure, he 
continues, the lyric soon passed outside of the school and attained 
artistic forms all its own, in the service of and aided by worship 
and music. But on the other hand didactic and epic poetry were 
never able successfully to deny their original manner of coming 
into being. 

I have only one quarrel with the foregoing statement a state- 
ment which has often been repeated since and that is that it 

1 Zur Oeschichte der lateinischen Schulpoesie des xii. und xiii. Jahrhunderts (1879). 

2 Marold likewise says (Zeitschr.f, deut. Phil., Vol. XXIII [1890], pp. 2 f.) : " Church song 
and learned school-poetry form the real soil from which the poetry of the goliards sprang." 
But he further remarks : " In consequence of their association with the people and the popu- 
lar minstrels in France and Germany quite a number of communal elements penetrated their 
songs and with this qualification Schmeller is entirely justified in saying (Carmina bur ana, 
p. viii) : " With good reason we claim a considerable part of mediaeval Latin poetry as our 
native possession." 



excludes. I feel sure, one constant source of much that was best 
in the mediaeval lyric: popular song. I believe, that is, that we 
can conceive of vagabond lyrics aside from the influence of either 
church or school. Not for a moment do I doubt the all-important 
influence which these environments exercised upon the profane 
and popular lyric. But it is one thing to assert that the mediaeval 
Latin erotic lyric owed much to the church-hymn, to the religious 
inserts in the service of the church, 1 to antiphon and part-song, to 
trope, cantio, motet, and sequence; it is one thing to claim for the 
school tasks and the schoolrooms of the Middle Ages a great influ- 
ence in shaping the form and themes of profane song; it is quite 
another thing to assert that we should never have had a rhythmic 
profane verse except for the pre-existent ecclesiastical and scholas- 
tic model. Great as was the impulse which cadence, rhyme, and 
stanza-structure of the religious lyric and school-poem gave to 
erotic song, there was another thing which often possessed still 
stronger attraction for it; and this was the native popular dance- 
song and lyric ballad written or sung in the vernacular language. 
There is no need for us to subscribe entirely to the doctrine 
that the mediaeval Latin lyric owed its very existence first to the 
liturgy and afterward to the schools. Tropes, motets, and 
sequences were doubtless a fertilizing source of much of the later 
beauty and diction of profane song; schools of grammar and 
rhetoric did create ten thousand custom-made lyrics and ballads 
for the consumption of the laity. But when Grautier 2 and Meyer 3 
insist upon the creed that these were the only source, they are 

1 1 have often wondered when face to face with the awe-inspiring confusion of early 
mediaeval liturgical MSS, how scholars could attain the simple clarity of their present 
theory that these inserts were the "bio-germ" of Latin profane singing. Such MSS were 
often written as prose, and at times none may decide where one verse ends and another 
begins; every sort of meter and rhythm is represented in them; some MSS were written 
chiefly to preserve different melodies, and in these we frequently do not know whether the 
accompanying text comprises all of a song or only a single stanza of it ; the texts may be 
from several different centuries, and of every possible description deeply religions and 
scabrous, side by side ; it is not always possible to determine the age of a MS, the country 
in which it was written, the purpose it aimed to fulfil, or the audience to which it was 
addressed. Unintelligible gaps occur to tempt the reader to emendation: erasures have 
been made, but we know not why : the same text appears in variant forms and ascribed to 
many authors. How may we then hold so simple a creed as that laid down in the opening 
sentence of this note? 

*Histoire de lapoitie liturgique au moyen &ge, Vol. I (1886). 
^Frapmenta burana (1901). 



Betting forth an orthodoxy which requires from its adherents 
all faith, instead of all reason, for they may never conclusively 
prove their creed. 

When Meyer, for instance, would adduce evidence that the 
sequence had won over profane poetry he cites the Cambridge 
songs of late tenth and early eleventh centuries. 1 From this 
group he reprints in sequence form the story of the "Snow -Child": 

Advertite omnes populi ridiculum: 

Et audite quomodo Suevum mulier et ipse illam defraudaret: 
Constantiae civis Suevulus trans aequora: 

Gazam portans navibus domi conjugem lascivam nimis relinquebat; 

but he does not refer to the brusque five-syllabled verses of two 
narrative poems in the same MS : Alfrad and Heriger. The latter 
of these Jacob Grimm believed to be but the retelling in Latin 
verses of a German popular song on Archbishop Heriger {floruit 
913-27). It is the droll tale of the man who ran off with a 

1 Traube once complained that Manittus did not understand Wilh. Meyer, but who may 
understand him at such a time as this? Now the story of the "Snow-Child" was famous 
among mediaeval entertainers and appears in many different forms (cf., for instance, 
Galfredus de Vinosalvo (Poetria nova vss. 724-28) Leyser, G. de V. Ars poetica (1724) ; Bar- 
bazon-Meon, Fabliaux (1808), Vol. Ill, p. 215; von der Hagen, Gesammtabenteuer, Vol. II, p. 
383; Anzeiger filr Kunde der deutschen Vorzeit, Vol. IV, p. 75; Zeitschr. f. deut. Alt., Vols. 
XIV, p. 472; XIX, pp. 119 ff., 240; Deut. Nat. Liter., Vol. CCXXI, pp. 217, 235: Ebert, Vberliefe- 
rungen zur Geschichte, Literatur und Kunst der For- und Mitwelt (1826), Vol. I, Part 1, p. 80 ; 
Du Meril, Poesies populaires latines (1843), p. 275; Poe'sies in&dites (1854), p. 418; Rheinisches 
Museum, Vol. Ill, p. 331 ; Mullenhoff-Scherer, DenkmSler, No. XXI (3d ed.) ; Coventry Mys- 
teries [ed. Halliwell, Shakspere Society, Vol. II], pp. 140 f. ; Cloetta, Beitrage zur Litteratur- 
geschichte des Mittelalters, Vol. I (1890), p. 106 ; Fragmenta burana, p. 174 ; Haureau, Notices 
et extraits, Vol. XXIX, Part 2, pp. 240, 303; Winterfeld, Stilfragen, p. 40, etc., etc.). Several 
times, at least, it took the shape of an epigrammatic quatrain : 

Dum vir abest, puerum parit ejus adultera conjux 
Et reduci narrat, quod nive sit genitus. 
Hunc apud Ethiopes vir vendit, et ilia requirit; 
De nive conceptum sol liquefecit, ait. 
or again: 

Conjux absente gravidata viro redeunte : 
Nixit in ore meo, sum gravis, inquid eo. 
Inde dplens multum puerum vir vendit adultum, 
Et dixit ; Niveum sol liquefecit eum. 

Why not therefore say that the epigrammatic quatrain had " won over profane poetry" and 
make the former a stepping-stone in the evolution of the latter, without which it could not 
come to be? Posit, that is, an epigram before every lyric, as if the one was the root from 
which the other flowered. None may ever tell, of course, just what the first form was that 
so popular a theme took : whether prose or verse. And we must remember that we likewise 
cannot reason surely in the case of other poems which are represented by a single MS alone. 
Just because these are handed down to us in a form which shows the influence of clerical 
workmanship we need not, we must not, imagine that the theme of the poem sprang from 
the church or lived only in the form which some church-poet or school-poet gave it. We 
can with safety ascribe to such poets only a part interest in the poem, and not the very 
fatherhood of it. 



piece of liver. 1 More important still, Meyer omits to mention a 
tender lyric from the same MS which has no more essential con- 
nection with the sequence than it has with the moon; the Verna 
feminae suspiria: 

Levis exsurgit zephyrus 
Et sol procedit tepidus; 
Jam terra sinus aperit, 
Dulcore suo diffluit. 

Ver purpuratum exiit, 
Ornatus suos induit; 
Aspergit terram floribus, 
Ligna silvarum frondibus. 

Struunt lustra quadrupedes 
Et dulces nidos volucres; 
Inter ligna florentia 
Sua decantant gaudia. 

Quod oculis dum video 
Et auribus dum audio, 
Heu, pro tantis gaudiis 
Tantis inflor suspiriis. 

Cum mihi sola sedeo 
Et haec revolvens palleo, 
Si forte caput sublevo, 
Nee audio nee video. 

Tu saltim, Veris gratia, 
Exaudi et considera 
Frondes, flores et gramma; 
Nam mea languet anima. 2 

1 Cf . Bobertag, Vierhundert Schwdnke des xvi. Jahrhunderts, p. 258 ; Grimm, Kinder- 
und Hausm&rchen, No. 81; Uhland, Schriften, Vol. VIII, p. 617; Kogel, Gesch. d. deut. Lit., 
Vol. I, Pt. 2, p. 264. Grimm's hypothesis was first stated in his Lateinische Qedichte desx. 
und xi. Jhdts. (1838), p. 343. In this connection Scherer says: " It does not occur to me to 
assert that German songs were the basis of the other stories and droll tales [the Latin 
Modus Liebinc, Modus Florum, Landfrid and Cobbo, Aifrad, found in the Cambridge MS]. 
But still, generally speaking, I do believe that this Latin minstrelsy is as truly a reflection 
of German spielmannspoesie as that the Waltharilied is derived from the German folk-epic." 
Cf. Deutsche Studien (1891)'-i, p. 53. 

2 Cf . Jaffe, Zeitschr. f. deut. Alt., Vol. XIV (1869) , p. 492, and Winterf eld, Herrigs Archiv, 
Vol. CXIV (1905), p. 26: "Soft blows the west wind and the sun draws warmly on; earth 
bares her breast and dissolves in her own sweetness. Ruddy spring comes forth dight in 
festal dress; he strews the earth with flowers and the forest trees with foliage. The beasts 
build their lair and the sweet birds their nest, piping their marriage-joys throughout the 
green woods. When such sounds and sights of gladness assail my ears and meet my eyes 
alas my heart is given to sighing ! For all alone I sit, brooding in study gray; if perchance 



So sang a heart-sick girl (or some minstrel for her) about the 
year of grace 1000. There is nothing of the church or school 
about the song nor yet aught of the stock phrase of classical 
imitation or minstrel cant. It is the formula as old as the hills, 
as wide as the breath of man: Earth rejoices; my love is dead. 
Winterfeld calls the poem a "jewel of the modern lyric that is just 
awaking." I cannot see why it is necessarily modern, or why it 
is just awaking. It is mediaeval. 1 A girl is sick at heart, or sup- 
posed to be so. 2 Her love, or her baby, or her faith is dead. She 
says so simply and rhythmically. If she had been Alcuin or Wipo 
or Ekkehard we should have had a school-poem of it. She was 
herself. Let us be unsurprised. 

I raise my head I may not see or hear. O spirit of spring, hear thou my prayer and dismiss 
it not ; 'spite bloom and flower and verdure my soul swoons within me 1" 

If this be not the very minting of popular poetry, what may it bet Not over thirty years 
ago a Tuscan boy sang as he trimmed a hedge, the first quatrain of a love-ballad so similar 
to this Latin plaint as to be almost identical : 

La foresta di frondi s' abbella 
Et lo monte verdeggia, ed il prato. 
Al sorriso di Maggio bramato 
Apre'l seno odoroso ogn' nor. 

Cf. Busk, Folksongs of Italy (1887), p. 19. 

1 Symonds, who did not know this song but who did magnificent service for the lyrics of 
the Carmina burana, writes in his Wine, Women, and Song (1884, pp. 1 f.) : "When we try 
to picture to ourselves the intellectual and moral state of Europe in the Middle Ages, some 
fixed and almost stereotyped ideas immediately suggest themselves. We think of the 
nations immersed in a gross mental lethargy ; passively witnessing the gradual extinction 
of arts and sciences which Greece and Rome had splendidly inaugurated ; allowing libraries 
and monuments of antique civilization to crumble into dust ; while they trembled under a 
dull and brooding terror of coming judgment, shrank from natural enjoyment as from 
deadly sin, or yielded themselves with brutal eagerness to the satisfaction of vulgar appetites. 

"It is therefore with a sense of surprise, with something like a shock to preconceived 
opinions, that we first become acquainted with the Latin Songs of the Wandering Students. 
This literature makes it manifest that the ineradicable appetites and natural instincts of 
men and women were no less vigorous in fact, though less articulate and self-assertive, than 
they had been in the age of Greece and Rome, and than they afterwards displayed them- 
selves in what is known as the Renaissance." A similar statement is made by Bartoli in the 
opening pages of his I precursori del rinascimento (1876). 

21 am mindful of the folly of guessing the sex of the author of a mediaeval poem a 
classical instance of which attaches to the O admirabile Veneris idolum, which was vari- 
ously supposed to be expression of artistic fervor on the part of an old Roman who had dug 
up a statue; the prayer of a man to a saint; and the plea of a girl to a boy until finally 
determined to be the simple natStKov of a Veronese schoolmaster. And so we may not 
know that a woman wrote this song, although the lines above quoted seem subtly feminine 
in imagery, just as the oft-cited verses on homesickness by Otfrid of Weissenburg (co. 830) 
have the undeniably masculine ring(cf. Ev., i, 18, vss. 25 ff.): Vuolage 61ilenti!/hfirto bistu 
herti/etc. "O outland, thou art hard to bear, thou art beyond words unendurable, that 
may I never dissemble. With woe are they encompassed who give up their home ; I have 
experienced the weight of it, no joy have I had of thee ; in thee have I found no other weal 
than sadness of spirit, a troubled heart and manifold pain. 1 ' 



When Gautier claims that the "poems attributed to Walter 
Mapes 1 and his sort" were all derived from churchly tropes, he 
contents himself with citing two songs: one to the courtesan 
Dulcia, the other of more "temperament and brutal passion": 

Nutritur ignis osculo 
Et leni tactu virginis; 
In suo lucet oculo 

Lux luminis. 
Non est in toto saeculo 

Plus numinis. 

Now I have taken Gautier at his word and sought where he directs: 
in the collection of Flacius, 2 in the Carmina burana, and in the 
songs ascribed to Mapes. I am sore puzzled to find how "ces 
po&sies sortent de nos tropes" Some of them do evidently, 
because their form, context, content, and diction show such indi- 
rect origin at least, but then just as surely some of them do not. 
In other words certain songs are of scholastic and clerical work- 
manship, certain are popular. I shall treat of this at length in 
a later chapter of this study where I find some poems which 
contain every hint of being volkslieder, or of being imitated from 
popular songs. 

To choose for the present but one of many, I turn to a song 
recently discovered by Vattasso it is of the twelfth century and 
en titled planctus monialis: 

Plangit nonna fletibus 
Condolens gemitibus, 
Dicens consocialibus : 

Heu misella! 

Nichil est deterius tali vita, 
Cum enim sim petulans et lasciva. 

Sono tintinnabulum, 
Repeto psalterium, 
Gratum linquo somnium 
Cum dormire cuperem, 

i Were goliard songs ascribed during the thirteenth century to Walter Mapes because 
of confusion with that other Walter, also archdeacon of Oxford, from whom Geoffrey of 
Monmouth (1135-50) had his Historia regum Britanniae? 

2 1. e., Flacius Illyricus, Varia doctorum piorumque virorum de corrupto ecclesiae statu 
poemata (1556; reprinted 1754). 



Heu misella! 
Pernoctando vigilo 
Cum non vellem. 
Juvenem amplecterer quam libenter. 1 

Amazingly rough in a way, and scarce worthy of printing but for 
one conspicuous fact. It is the old story of the Nun's Complaint 
found frequently in French romance and German lied from the 
thirteenth century on. It is imitated from some such popular 
poem without any doubt. 

For, near as we should imagine such a theme to be to the 
poets of the church, the monastery, and the school, when we come 
to study the matter we find their treatment to be a very different 
sort. The twelfth-century songs of Hildebert 2 and Hilary 3 to 
nuns and about them are smooth vers d 1 occasion. Marbod* 
consoles a maiden dedicated to the cloister by picturing the hap- 
piness of a marriage with Christ ; again, he encourages a girl with 
pedantic seriousness to adhere to her vows. From the same time 
we have the Love-Council of Remiremont; 5 we have the poetic 
letter of a monk to nuns, 6 written in jocose and fluent manner, 
warning them not to occupy themselves overmuch with the verses 
of Ovid as these are no prescribed part of the routine. In the 
thirteenth century we read the prayer of a nun to the Virgin 7 
that she may be freed from the temptations of earthly passion 
also the story of how the nun, forgetful of her vows, tried to 
seduce the clerk. 8 And as early as the tenth or eleventh century 
we have the fragment of a macaronic song (half Latin, half Ger- 
man) in which a clerk pleads with a nun to listen kindly to his 
wooing, for springtime is at hand and the earth is green anew. 9 

iCf. Studi medievali, Vol. I (1904), p. 124; MS Vatican 3,251; de Nolhac, Labibliot heque 
de Fulvio Oraini (1887), p. 195, n. 2; Novati considers the song quasi -certamente d'origine 
straniera, although he gives no reason for this belief. 

2Cf. Haur6au, Les melanges poetiques d' 'Hildebert de Lavardin (1882). 

a Cf. Champollion-Figeac, Hilarii versus et ludi (1838). 

* Migne, Patrologia, Vol. CLXXI, p. 1717 ; Wright, Anglo-Latin Satirical Poets, Vol. II 
(1872), p. 240. 

5Cf. Zeitschr.f. deut. Alt., Vols. VII, p. 160; XXI, p. 65; Langlois, Origines et sources 
du Roman de la Rose (1891), p. 6. 

6 Of. Sitzungsberichte der bayr. Akademie (1873), pp. 695 ff. 

fCf. Wiener Studien, Vol. VI, p. 291. 

SAnzeifjerf. Kunde d. deut. Vorzeit, Vol. XXV (1878), col. 319; Sitzungsber. d. Wiener 
ATcad., Vol. XXXVI (1861), p. 168; Hagen Carmin mediia aevi (1877), p- 206; Notices et extraits, 
Vol. XXIX (1880), Pt. 2, p. 249. 

9 " Cambridger Lieder," No. 32, Zeitschr. f. deut. Alt., Vol. XIV (1869). 



Such is the writing of mediaeval clerks and schoolmen when 
they deal with the nun either in fact or in fancy ; graceful minne- 
lieder like those of Hilarius to Bona and Superba, exhortations to 
chastity like Marbod's stiff attempts in leonine hexameters, or 
allusive (not to say suggestive) efforts to bring about a rendezvous 
with some plump novice. Nothing intense, no outcry of suffering, 
and a manner far removed from the popular. Even where as in 
the tenth-century song there is evident approach to the popular 
treatment for a moment, the whole ends stiffly with a moralizing 
touch. Let us dwell in passing with this poem. Grant me love, 
pleads the clerk, for the birds are singing in the woods. What 
care I for nightingale? demands the nun. I am the maid of 
Christ and have sworn to serve him singly. The lover returns to 
his task with unremitting urgency: But if you will only grant 
me love I will bestow upon you earthly honors and rewards. 
Thus the maiden: Such rewards pass away as the clouds are 
swept from the sky the kingdom of God endures eternally. 

So from tenth century to fifteenth did the poetasters of bench 
and cell deal with the nun. Not so popular minstrelsy : 

La nonain se gaimentoit, 
Regardait aval un preit, 
Vit lou moinne qui venoit, 
Qui avoit son frot esteit. 
Longue demoree 
Faites, frans moinnes loialz. 

Se plus suis nonette, 

Ains ke soit li vespres 

Je moral des jolis malz. 

Thus a romance of the fourteenth century, and one of the thir- 
teenth runs as follows: 

Ki nonne me fist, Jesus lou maldie. 
Je di tropenvis vespres ne conplies: 
J'amaixe trop muels moneir bone vie 
Ke fust deduissans et amerousete. 

Je sent les douls mals leis ma senturete. 

Malois soit de deu ki me fist nonnete. 1 

i MS 389, City Library of Berne ; cf . Wackernagel, AltfranzOsischeLieder und Leiche (1846), 
p. 51; Bartsch, AltfranzGsische Romanzen und Pastourellen (1870), p. 28; MS franc. 20,050, 
Royal Library of Paris ; Jeanroy, Les origines de lapofsie lyrique en France (1904)2, p. 190. 



But it is in the German volkslieder that we come closest to the 
spirit and even the phraseology of the planctus monialis. 

Gott geb ihm em verdorben jar 
Der mich zu einer nunnen macht ! 
Soil ich ein mmn gewerden 
Dann wider meinen willen, 
So will ich auch einem knaben jung 
Seinen kummer stillen. 

And even more popular than this song was perhaps: 

Ich solt ein nonne werden, 
Ich hatt kein lust darzu, 
Ich ess nicht gerne gerste, 1 
Wach auch nicht gerne fru. 2 

A comparison of these and other nonnenlieder with the Vattasso 
song will convince one that the latter owes its spirit to the ver- 
nacular ballads and ditties having to do with the cloister, even 
though our earliest known example of such be from the thirteenth 
century. Popular tradition was as tenacious as school tradition 
at least ; we find formulae in both continuing with identical verbi- 
age for centuries. The fact that we have no vernacular popular 
song regarding the nun before the thirteenth century does not 
mean there was no such in fact we have indubitable evidence 
that there was, just from the lines of this Vattasso song itself. 
The Latin dance ballad of the year 1019 discovered by Schroder 
was previously known to Du Me"ril from the MS of an English 
translation of Grosseteste's Manuel depechie (about 1400). And 
now we are able to add another popular Latin ballad of the same 
sort from the eleventh or twelfth century, in this planctus monialis. 

More proof and there is plenty that there was a popular 
Latin poetry throughout the Middle Ages need not be adduced at 
just this point, as it would transcend the limits of the present 
purpose. 3 Suffice it to call attention to the study of Winterfeld's 

1 Cf. verse 44 of the Vattasso song: e succis farinulae et caseo. 

2Uhland, Volkslieder, Nos. 328, 329. 

3 Just a word as to the famous liebesgi-uss from Ruodlieb which R. M. Meyer (I believe 
rightly) cited as a remnant of popular lyricality. It may not, to be sure, be a "relic of 
ancient communal poetry" simply because analogous love-messages are discoverable in 
Indian poetry so far Meyer's critics may be justified in doubting. But no more need the 
liebesgruss in Ruodlieb be of learned origin, just because parallel passages can be found in 
the Bible, in classical Latin poets, and in mechanical hexameters of Carolingian versifiers 



with which the next chapter deals, to a previous article of mine 
on the origins of minnesang, and to the further songs later 
on which I shall cite for one reason or another. I am con- 
tent to establish merely the fact that there were throughout the 
Middle Ages two sorts of Latin lyric: one which was of the church 
and the school, no matter how far it finally developed from the 
form of its original birthplace; the other of the people and laity, 
whether written by them or by a homely minstrel for them. 

We are now ready to review various doctrines which are main- 
tained regarding the mediaeval song and singers, to determine 
if we may how far they help or hinder us in the enunciation of the 
fact that before the troubadours and the minnesingers there were 
Latin songs which were either themselves popular and widely 
disseminated, or which are rifacimenti of vernacular popular songs 
spread broadcast among the people. And first we may take up the 
theory of the mime. 


More than thirty years ago Scherer wrote his important state- 
ment of the r6le which the Italian mime played in the develop- 
ment of early German literature. 1 Little by little the conviction 

(cf. Dummler, Mitteilungen der Ztiricher antiquarigchen Oesellschaft, Vol. XII, p. 228; 
Liersch, Zeitschr. f. deut. Alt., Vol. XXXVI, pp. 154ff.). The author of the first European 
novel need not have got his love-message from any of the three places above mentioned, nor 
even necessarily from a fourth place suggested by Kogel (Gesch. d. deut. Lit, Vol. I, Part 2, 
p. 139) : viz., from a wandering student, nor from a fifth place, from the French love-greet- 
ing which Paul Meyer believed to have no connection with popular verses (Le salut d'amour 
dans les literatures provenyale etfrancaise, 1867, p. 4; cf. also Diez, Die Poesie der Trouba- 
dours, 18832, p. 149). It may be the Latin adaptation of a German volkslied-stanza, or it 
may be the original labor of its writer. But whatever its immediate source, one thing it 
must be : the congener of scores of other popular songs such as we have documented a-plenty 
from later centuries (cf. Mullenhoff-Scherer, Derikm&ler, Vol. 113, p . 152) ; it is the very 
stamp of popular love-poetry even if it were first born at the moment of its writing. Let us 
acknowledge, if you will, that such verses as the following are of clerical workmanship : 
Multiplici Christus reddat tibi munera mitis, 

In me quot bonitas contulit ecce tua. 
Gramina quot tellus habeat, vel litus harenas, 

Tot, miserante deo, David, habeto vale ; 
but the Ruodlieb stanza has a different smack : 

Die sodes illi nunc de me corde fideli 

Tantundem liebes, veniat quantum modq loubes, 

Et volucrum wanna tot sint, tot die sibi minnn ; 

Graminis et florum quantum sit, die et honorum ; 

as has the popularizing love message in the Carmina burana, no. 82, despite its classical 
allusions : Quot sunt flores in Hyblae vallibus, 

Quot redundat Dodona frondibus, 

Et quot pisces natant aequoribus, 

Tot abundat amor doloribus. 

i Oeschichte der deutschen Dichtung im xi. und xii. Jahrhundert (1875), pp. 11 ff. Cf. 
also Grysar, " Der rOmische Mimus," Sitzungsber. d. Wiener Akad., Vol. XII, pp. 331 ff. 



grew that after the fall of the Roman Empire the mimes spread 
northward throughout Germany bringing a new element to the 
life and literature which they found there. And so the picture 
took shape which represents the repertory and the art of the 
German minstrel in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries as the 
resultant of two forces: the lofty epic idealism of the Teutonic 
scop; the vulgar but contagious realism of the Italian joculator. 1 

There is something in this theory of continuance and new 
birth through the mingling of two elements, either of which might 
soon have proved sterile but for fructification from a new seed, 
which satisfies the imagination, so that we may not wonder at 
the quick adoption of it. 2 Germanists are now possessed of a 
thread which will lead them safely through the dim chambers of 
mediaeval centuries, as they seek for an explanation of hardly 
understood literary phenomena. Many of them cling therefore 
tenaciously to this tenuous cord, often in secret dread of its break- 
ing, but openly smiling whenever the classicist is heard to demand 
that the Roman mime be dead along with the ashes of the empire 
which had cherished him. For does not your Germanist remem- 
ber that this very empire led a shadowy but real existence into the 
nineteenth century? And why then, he asks, should these 
funmakers have yielded up their spirit just the moment that the 
fall of Rome opened to them new fields of effort. 

Up to this point, then, those whose special study was mediaeval 
poetry were willing, ofttimes anxious, to accept the services of the 
exiled Italian mime in the fetching of certain lyric and dramatic 
forms from antiquity to the Middle Ages. Even those who 
believed there were many other agencies of transmission yet 
included the mime. Peddler and beggar, scribe and journeyman 

iCf. Chambers, The Medieval Stage (1903), Vol. I, pp. 23 ff., and the bibliography there 
cited, which omits strangely enough any reference to Hertz's Spielmannsbuch* (1900), with 
its incomparable notes (pp. 315 ff.). 

2 In his review of Anderson's Anglo-Saxon Scop (Anzeiger f. d. Alt., Vol. XXXI [1907], 
p. 114) Heusler propounds three matters which must be thoroughly investigated before we 
can gain an adequate picture of this early renaissance of minstrelsy : (1) How the old-style 
poetizing and harp-playing German vassal is to be separated from the joculator, the inheri- 
tor of southern culture ; (2) How a historical poetry dealing with contemporary events 
affected heroic song; (3) In how far the poet-singer lived by his art, so that we can sup- 
pose there existed a professional practice of poetry in any strict sense. Not till these prob- 
lems are at least partially settled should we speak too glibly of co-operation between scop 
and mime. 



'prentice, vagrom monk and missionary, scop and soldier, tourist 
and student, artisan and hireling in this freemasonry of travel 
the mime should surely hold high rank as propagator of enter- 
tainment, but should he be the only one who spun edifying yarns, 
who caroled snatches of song learned in many lands? A sorry 
sort of Canterbury pilgrimage, many thought, in which the mime 
was solitary pilgrim. And yet this is the very point of recent 

The long-awaited book of Reich is come, 1 and with it a mime 
who like Alexander Selkirk is sole monarch of all he surveys. 
The concluding part of the work is yet unpublished, but there is 
sufficient in the first volume to occupy our attention. The mime, 
it seems, like the long-unsuspected bacillus, is everywhere. In 
places untrodden of Caliban and Ariel there lurks the mime 
the whole spiritual world has become, as it were, mime and non- 
mime; to our convenient totalities of day and night, land and 
sea, time and eternity, a new unit has been added. Reich has had 
till now but time to hunt through twenty-eight or thirty centuries, 
and yet he has discovered that anything dramatic in the world's 
literature which is not to be termed "classic" or "classic imita- 
tion" is based upon the mime. The process of this argument 
is simple, but could such a dictum be pronounced except in 
a time when literary criticism is unduly influenced by purely 
speculative reasoning ? Verily does it seem as if in the twentieth 
century Mercury and Philology have been remarried and every 
previous edict of divorce between them annulled. 

If the words of the foregoing paragraph be true, why not pass 
Reich's book lightly by? Because, first, he has in his discussion 
of the Middle Ages really found an explanation for a definite 
expression in literature which is otherwise puzzling; second, he 
has succeeded in converting to his doctrine of an ever-present 
mime no less a person than Winterfeld. 2 

l DerMimus: Ein Litterarentwickelungsgeschichtlicher Versuch, Vol. I (1903). 

2Cf. "Hrotsvits literarische Stellung," Herrigs Archiv, Vol. CXIV (1905), pp. 48'ff. 

I imagine that when the history of mediaeval philology is finally written the name of 
the late Paul von Winterfeld will shine more brightly than that of many another scholar to 
whom a longer life was granted and whose writings largely outnumber his. No other investi- 
gator in this field combined in so unusual a degree a severe training and a scholary purpose 
with surety of instinct, brilliance of imagination, and rare poetic gifts. It would seem as if 



This last is, I confess, a blow, the more so, because Winterfeld 
in the natural ardor of his new conversion does not stop midway 
in his claims, but says all that is best in the Latin artistic poetry 
of the Middle Ages, the best part of Notker and Roswitha, comes 
straight from the mime. He then proceeds to assert that the 
mime cultivated practically every form of literary expression 
known to mediaeval times and that he gave to each the impetus 
that brought it to its zenith. 

It is at first difficult to find the fallacy which underlies much 
of Winterfeld's argument, but after some study two faults become 
clear. First, that the word "mime" is often used not only in a 
wide but in an evasive sense discussion of this will be taken 
up in a following paragraph. Second, we discover that Winter- 
feld without reason and without proof claims for this mime 
things that quite evidently belong to someone else. Certain 
expressions which Winterfeld assigns to the mime were undoubt- 
edly cultivated by him sicut fabulae testantur et scurrarum 
cumplices : notably the short tale, the farce, the sequence devoted 
to profane matters, satirical poetry, the novel in hexameters, 
the dramatic skit, and some of the popular legends. There is 
small necessity for denying the minstrel his fair share in the 
purely popular grist of novelistic and narrative literature which 
preceded the twelfth century. 1 At the same time it takes hardi- 
hood to deliver Notker and Roswitha so completely into his hands, 
to say nothing of the goodly company of story-tellers who must 
have found amateurish amusement in literature without using it 
as a professional means of livelihood. 2 

his death, coming so shortly before that of the better-known mediaevalist, Ludwig Tranbe, 
so soon after that of Ernst Dummler, wrought irreparable injury to the cause of mediaeval 
Latin in the university world, where it was but beginning to be ardently espoused. One 
can but cherish the fond hope that these three did not depart before they had sown the 
seed of their strength in the hearts of a younger generation of students come to carry on 
their work. 

1 In addition to Winterfeld's article above cited, cf. Modern Philology, Vol. Ill, pp. 

2 It is perhaps an unavoidable tendency, when chronicling the story of literature of any 
age, to insist overmuch on the ascendency of certain groups of men as the makers of certain 
sorts of prose and poetry. We consequently are apt to visualize any particular generation 
of poetizing as the result of the efforts of some narrow guild or school. Thus a kind of 
German epic poetry we assign entirely during the older period to the scop or vors&nger; 
later to the spielmann. A kind of Latin lyric in mediaeval Europe goes first to the mimus 
and later to the goliard. Love-songs are given initially to the minnesinger, afterward to 



Certain expressions, however, which belonged to another than 
the mime but which Winterfeld in his generosity surrenders to 
him are the hymn of victory, the ecclesiastical ballad, and the 
Carolingian eclogue. Of course some one poet or minstrel is to 
be presumed for any poem, and if one wishes he may dub such 
poet "mime." But there is in our minds an inferential connec- 
tion of this word with mimus, meaning an Italian vaudeville 
performer, who, after the fall of the western empire, spread 
northward across Europe. And to assert that such a person 
necessarily composed the Ballad of Fontenoy, the Victory of 
Pippin over the Avari, the Descent of Christ into Hell, Terence 
and the Delusor, etc. this is but to speak from the pulpit. 1 
Not a shred of evidence is adduced that would convict this mime 
of the authorship of such matters, if he were haled before the 

Let us examine the pretensions of the mime to the authorship 
of the eclogue, and choose this particular case not because it is the 
weakest one that Winterfeld sets forth, but rather, if my feeling 
is right, the strongest. In case we can return the verdict "not 
proven" on this count, I think the others too may stand dismissed. 

The dramatic dialogue known as the eclogue was from the 
beginning, Winterfeld says, the child of the mime. The eclogues 
of the Syracusan poet Sophron were popular in tone and were 
performed before an audience. But, although modeled upon 
these, the eclogues of Theocritus and Herodas were highly artistic 
and without popular appeal ^ they were kunstpoesie. Now these 

the meistersinger. Such a delivering of all the known material of a time to set classes 
or professions of people is only unwise in that it blinds our eyes to the fact that the poetry 
of any age is too complex in the weaving to be ascribed to a single order. Forgetful of this 
truth, we do not sufficiently try to establish distinctions between different sorts of poetry, 
since we think of them at any one moment as a single unit. And we thus lose often 
the thread of continuity which might otherwise lead us from one century to another. 

A good illustration of such procedure, I believe, confronts us in our present study of 
mime and goliard. We speak of a certain large body of Latin poetry as if it were the sole 
product of their effort. This poetry thus becomes at once an artistic, artificial, almost pro- 
fessional matter, and we find difficulty in convincing ourselves, except after the most 
patient examination, that some of it at least was popular, sincere in feeling, with the stamp 
of the people's mint upon it. If theri- be the latter sort, as I am claiming, then this it was 
that foreran documented German minnesang, and not that other sort of polished vers 
d'occasion so commonly thought of when the mediaeval Latin lyric is mentioned. 

1 1 must reserve for another occasion further study of " the Merovingian mime." The 
materials already gathered on this subject are too bulky to permit of presentation here. 



were imitated in learned fashion by Virgil, Calpurnius, and 
Nemesianus, and we thus gain a new sort of eclogue one that 
ia not acted, but intended for reading only, buchpoesie. This, 
in a nutshell, is the story of such dialogue poetry before the fall 
of Rome. 

In the eighth and ninth centuries we find six dialogue poems 
which with some violence may be grouped together as eclogues: 
the writings of Naso Modoinus, the debate between summer and 
winter, sometimes ascribed to Alcuin, the bucolic verses of 
Theodul (or Gottschalk), 1 the lively tilt between Terence and a 
delusor, Radbert's Life of Adalhard, and the Life of Hadumod 
by Agius. Now four of these eclogues are evidently but a learned 
imitation of the bookish poetry of Virgil, Nemesianus, etc., adapted 
to the local needs of the writers of the Carolingian renaissance; 
but two of them the Conflictus veris et hiemis and the delusor 
are mimetic. The former of these two is naught but a Latinized 
version of the popular Germanic struggle between the seasons, 
which was often presented in costume; the latter Winterfeld assumes 
was acted and believes Terence to be but the literary representa- 
tive of the mime cursed and scolded and threatened by the 
delusor until he ran off the scene in fright. On the basis of this 
interpretation he assigns the poem to the repertory of the vaude- 
ville performer. 

Why should we believe Terence to be but the symbol of just 
that which he and his comedies were most opposed to, viz., the 
lascivious Roman vaudeville ? I know of no possible ground for 
such an assumption. There is not a scrap of inward or outward 
evidence in connection with this poem, that it is anything other 
than just what it seems to be: a scoring of the poet Terence on 
the charge of looseness by some delusor. I believe Terence, in 
other words, to be Terence; but gladly should I learn who or 
what is meant by delusor; and on this point Winterfeld utters 
not a syllable. 

To sum up: Winterfeld begins his discussion of the eclogue 
with a Syracusan poet who wrote popular eclogues about B. c. 
440. He then deals with Sophron's imitators. When the Ger- 

i If a clever surmise of Winterfeld's be right : fleos = Gott ; SoOAos = Schalk. 



man empires are built upon the ruins of Rome, he says that the 
eclogue is dead but that the mime is alive. And then, because 
he finds a school-rendering into Latin of a German streitgedicht 
and a scene in which Terence is belabored by one whose motives 
we do not understand, he demands that a line of continuity be 
established for popular vaudeville from Sophron to the end of the 
ninth century. Should we not rather believe that the "mime"- 
had nothing to do with the matter of the Carolingian eclogue, but 
that the scholars of this time made variations on the ecloga of 
Virgil, because they held with the palace academy that he was the 
greatest poet of antiquity? 1 

In reading the "arguments" of Reich and Winterfeld we are 
often confused by the way in which they use the adjective mimetic 
and the noun mime. Great care must be taken not to regard 
these terms as interchangeable. Mimetic material may at any 
time become actually a mime just as dramatic material may at 
any time become a drama. But while such a streitgedicht as 
that between summer and winter might conceivably become 
a thoroughgoing mime by the infusion of a certain known ele- 
ment or two, it never did become mime so far as we know, any 
more than it becomes drama. And while there is a certain knock- 
down humor in the delusor poem which allows us to dream with 
Winterfeld that the figure of Terence did wear the comic mask of 
the vulgar actor and did set his audience into spasms of uncon- 
trollable laughter with his caperings and his mouthings, there is 
not a particle of evidence that the poem was acted at all. And as 
to Sophron: why rattle his dry bones to attract attention to a 
mediaeval poem? 

Who and what is this mime, this lord of hosts that confronts 
us in a hundred forms? Well, mimus, it seems, is both a mimetic 
performance and a mimetic performer both vaudeville skit and 
vaudeville artist. Do we not now begin to understand how so 
wide a sphere of influence may be claimed for mime? And in 
the Middle Ages the term was measurably widened until it 

iThe Carolingian poets assiduously imitated every classical model that they knew. 
Why then should we seek a special explanation if we find that they copied the eclogue form? 
Or why should we call a popular streitgedicht an eclogue merely because they are both 
dialogue poems? 



betokens any stunt (the word is used advisedly) or turn that can 
wheedle a laugh, a sigh, or a tear from the audience; until it 
means any function of the mimetic performer, no matter how 
meretricious or venal, just so that it entertains. Mime came thus 
to be synonymous with the modern vernacular "show," as employed 
by careless youth to denominate anything from a church sociable 
to a football game. In neither case are we to debate what cor- 
rect usage prescribes concerning the two words; we are merely 
to read mediaeval records pertaining to the word mimus. And 
the mimi of these records when referring to persons can often not 
be translated by a less wide term than "artists" or "players," for 
they comprised musicians of every kind, trapeze-performers, acro- 
bats, singers, slackrope walkers, tumblers, knife-throwers, contor- 
tionists, clowns, merry-andrews, pantomimists, dancers, jugglers, 
sleight-of-hand workers, harlequins, buffoons, bear-leaders, mon- 
ologists until because of the narrow view-point of the ascetic 
churchman the word finally came to connote confidence men, 
pickpockets, shell-workers, second-story men, outcasts, guzzlers, 
lechers, et cetera ad infinitum. 1 

The crux is solved. The mime it was that influenced all the 
popular themes of the Middle Ages, that is at work today as 
"the basis of all themes in the world's literature not designedly 
classic;" for we have found by studying the documents that 
mime means almost anything that we have no other name for. 
It is the old story over again. A word is evolved by someone 
and restricted to a certain specified meaning; then following 
generations come to widen the term's horizon to suit their own 
sweet whim. In discovering their sort of "mime" Reich and 
Winterfeld have but displaced other words, one of which is the 
adjective "romantic." 

Herzog says without doubt too peremptorily: "The mimi and 
joculatores of the dark occidental Middle Ages had nothing to 
do with the ancient mime." 2 For they comprised, so far as we 

1 Cf . Glock " tJber den Zusammenhang des romischen Mimus and einer dramatischen 
Tatigkeit mittelalterlicher Spielleute init dem neueren komischen Drama," Zeitschr. f. 
vergl. Literaturgesch. (1905) , pp. 25-45, 172-93. For the various Latin synonyms of mimus 
cf. Gautier, Les epopees francaises' 2 (1892), Vol. II, pp. 10 ff. 

2 Berliner philologische Wochenschrift (1904), No. 34. 



may ever know, much the same sort of profession. But even if 
they did the very same sort of thing, they did it so differently 
that comparison is unwise. By this I mean that the entertainers 
in mediaeval Europe may conceivably be the very descendants of 
the entertainers ages before in Italy; but we shall certainly learn 
what they meant to the life of their time better by studying them 
in cross-section than longitudinally. 

There remains a most important matter in connection with the 
Latin mime or minstrel, viz., his influence on the musicality of 
lyrical ballads previous to the twelfth century. I reserve state- 
ment of this for a later paragraph. 1 


As early as the tenth century perhaps, but quite certainly as 
early as the eleventh, 2 we know that the goliards were composing 
and singing Latin verses. I do not think it necessary to believe 
with Giesebrecht that the goliard movement originated in the 
schools of France during the twelfth century, 3 but it may be well 
to imagine that it was there and at that time that the movement 
gained its greatest impetus and its widest currency. 

The young universities of Bologna and Salerno, founded partly 
on the private academies of the older grammarians and teachers 
of rhetoric, partly on the cloisters and canonical schools/ attracted 
during the twelfth century large numbers of students (clerks) who 
would learn jurisprudence and medicine. But at the same period 
clerks from every country of Europe poured into northern France 
to learn dialectic and theology, grammar and rhetoric, at the 

JCf. infra, pp. 50 f. 

2 It seems unnecessary to go into the question of the councils which make for the earlier 
of these two dates; cf. Chambers, op. cit.. Vol. I, p. 61; Allen "Origins of German Minne- 
sang," Modern Philology, Vol. Ill, p. 18; Traube's review of Manitius 1 Amarcius (Anzeiger 
f. deutsches Altertum,\ol. XV [1889], p. 200), from which I quote: "When this jocator of the 
eleventh century (ca. 1050) begins his performance with a song about Goliath (Amarcius, 439 : 
strnverit ut grandem pastoris funda Goliath), we discover here material which has been 
really treated by others of his kind. This material either came later to determine the title 
' goliardus ' or this name was already in vogue and caused the minstrels to set up a connec- 
tion of it with Goliath." See especially, however, Manly, "Familia Goliae," Modern 
Philology, Vol. V, pp. 201 ff. 

3 " Die Vaganten oder Goliarden und ihre Lieder," Allgemeine Monatsschrift filr Wisr 
senschaft und Literatur (1853), pp. 10 ff. 

*Cf. Giesebrecht, De litterarum studiis apud Italos primis medii aevi saeculis (1845), 
pp. 15 f . 



French schools, which ranked little, if any, lower than the Italian 
institutions. Paris was considered the fount of worldly wisdom, 
and we are told that Athens and Alexandria in their palmy days 
contained not so many searchers after knowledge. Rheims and 
Orleans shared in lesser measure the reputation of their greater 

Now this was just the sort of environment which we imagine 
most favorable for the birth and spread of a certain fashion of 
goliardic poetry. 1 Even were we prone to doubt that such a soil 
produced hundreds and thousands of school-poems, the opposite 
would be shown true by a mere examination of the records. Peter 
of Blois, Stephan and Bertier of Orleans, and Walter of Chatillon 2 
were known for their Latin lyrics of the lighter manner. Fulbert 
of Chartres, Marbod of Rennes, and Arnulf of Lisieux declaimed 
of spring and wine, although generally in metrical lines ; Abelard, 8 
Bernard of Clairvaux, 4 and Hildebert of Tours wrote vers cT occa- 
sion, emulating the graceful diction of Ovid and Horace. 5 And 
a presumable peer of any spark in wit and elegance was young 

Scarcely were such poems born before they fled across the 
Channel with the returning English students to become the marvel 

1 For the picture of a like materialistic age when satirical and erotic songs may well 
have existed among the lower clerici read of the tenth century in Poole, Illustrations of the 
History of Medieval Thought (1884), pp. 79 ff. 

2 Cf . the poem on scholastic studies in Wright, Anecdota Literaria (1844) ; also Muldener, 
Die zehn Gedichte Walthers von Lille (1859), and Hubatsch, Die lateinischen Vagantenlieder 
des Mittelalters (1870), p. 8: 

Inter quos sunt quatuor rythmice dictantium, 

Qui super hoc retinent sibi privilegium : 

Stephanus flos scilicet Aurelianensium 

Et Petrus_qui dicitur de castro Blecensium. 

Istis non immerito Berterus adjicitur, 

Sed nee inter alios apte praetermittitur 

Ille quern Castellio latere non patitur, 

In cujus opuscule Alexander legitur. 

Cf. also the famous phrase of Walther: perstrepuit moduhs Gallia tota meis; Peiper, 
Walther von Chatillon (1869) ; Bellanger, De magistro Gualthero ab Insulis (1877) ; Thurot, 
Revue critique (1870) I, p. 123. 

3 "Quorum etiam carminum pleraque adhuc in multis, sicut et ipse nosti frequentantur 
et decantantur regionibus, ab his maxime quos vita similis oblectat." "Amatorio metro vel 
rhythmo composita reliquisti carmina quae, prae nimia suavitate tarn dictaminis quam 
cantus saepius frequentata, tuum in ore omnium nomen incessanter tenebant." The first of 
these statements is Abelard's own, the other that of Heloise ; Abaelardi Opera, pp. 12, 46, 
and DuMeril, Poisies populaires latines du moyen age (1847), p. 422. 

*Cf. the long statement in Berengarii, Apologeticum Abaelardi, regarding the cantiun- 
culas mimicas et urbanos modulos of young Bernard. Migne, Patrologia Latina, Vol. 
CLXXVIII ; Haureau, Despoemcs latins attribues a 8. Bernard (1890), pp. iii f. 
5Cf. Haureau, Melanges po&tiques d'Hildebert de Lavardin (1882). 



of those who had not had the means or the initiative to go abroad 
to learn. And these songs were copied, and imitated, and put 
forth often in new guise, as their presence in many English manu- 
scripts bears witness. Soon came the great popular movements 
in England during the end of the twelfth and the earlier half of 
the thirteenth centuries to give added impetus to the dissemination 
of such poems, and the result was manifest in hundreds of con- 
geners remarkable for pungency of satire and sprightliness of 
composition. 1 Italy also shared in the writing of similar verses, 
although these poems are of a more ascetic sort, and have to do 
with civil and churchly matters. 2 And many indications point 
clearly to the share that Germany took in the movement. 3 

It is generally believed that vagrant clerks and dissolute 
students composed a great part of the body of mediaeval Latin 
lyric from the eleventh or twelfth century on. 4 And perhaps 

iCf. Wright, Poems commonly attributed to Walter Mapes (1841), p. v. 

"Of. Straccali, I Goliardi ovvero i clerici vagantes delle Universita medievali (1880) 
pp. 59 ff. ; Ronca, Cultura medioevale e poesia latina d' Italia net secoli xi e xii (1892), Vol. I, 
p. 255 ; Studi medievali, Vol. I (1904), p. 119. 

3 It will suffice to quote one of the various poems which deal with study in France this 
time evidently sung by a Swabian lad on his way to Paris : 

Hospita in Gallia Vale, dulcis patria, 

Nunc me vocant studia. Snavis Suevorum Suevia ! 

Vadam ergo; Salve, dilecta Francia, 

Flens a tergo Philosophorum curia ! 

Socios relinquo. Suscipe discipulum 

Plangite discipuli, In te peregrinum, 

Lugubris discidii Quern post dierum circulum 

Tempore propinquo. Remittes Socratinum. 

Cf. Zeitsch. f. deut. Alt., Vol. V, p. 296; Laistner, Golias: Studentenlieder des Mittelalters 
(1879), p. 53; Meyer, Fragmenta burana (1901), p. 180. 

It is my belief that the supreme evidence of Germany's part in the Franco-Latin lyrical 
renaissance of the twelfth century is found in the Cologne archpoet's unforgettable produc- 
tions. But I doubt if the tangled skeins of the archipoeta-G 'olios controversy will ever be 
unraveled before a new Revelation comes. Those who care to become entangled in the dis- 
cussion regarding the paternity of the great mediaeval poet may consult with profit Wright, 
Latin Poems commonly attributed to Walter Mapes, London, 1841 ; J. Grimm, Gedichte des 
Mittelalters auf Konig Frederick I, Berlin 1843; Wackernagel, Zeitschr. f. deut. Alt., Vol. V 
(1845), pp. 293 ff.; Giesebrecht, Allg. Monatsschrift f. Wiss. u. Lit., Braunschweig, 1853; 
Badinger " ttber einige Reste der Vagantenpoesie in Osterreich," Wiener Sitzungsberichte 
(1854) ; Delisle, Bibl. de Vficole des Chartes, Vols. XXIX (1868), pp. 596 ff. ; XXXI, pp. 303 ff. ; 
Annuaire bulletin d. I. Societe de I'Histoire de France (1869), pp. 139 ff.; Hubatsch, Latei- 
nische Vagantenlieder, Gorlitz, 1870; Haureau " Un manuscrit de la Heine Christine," Notices 
et extraits, Vol. XXIX, Pt. 2 (1880); G. Paris, Bibl. de VEcole des Chartes (1889), pp. 258 ff. 
Langlois "La litterature goliardique," Revue bleue, Vol. L (1892); Santangelo, Studio 
sulla poesia goliardica, Palermo, 1902 ; Spiegel, Der Ursprung des Vagantentums, Wurzburg, 
1888, Die Vaganten und ihr Orden, Schweinfurt, 1902; W. Meyer, Gottinger Nachrichten 
(1907), pp. 75 ff., etc. 

*Not so Wilh. Meyer (cf. " Die Oxforder Gedichte des Primas," Gottinger Nachrichten 
Phil.-hist. Kl., 1907, pp. 76, 88) : "Others held the opinion that these Latin songs were com- 
posed by students or runaway monks or clerks who were without means and often much 



they did, at least in so far as this lyric concerns the more artistic 
ballad pieces and satires so well known to us; 1 poems full of 
classical reminiscences, with interlacing rhymes, and artistic in 
structure. We may imagine if we will that an endless chain of 
peripatetic minstrels wandered forth from school and monastery, 
gaining their precarious bread by the tireless recitation of erotic 
poems. 2 I confess that this does not quite win my credence, 

demoralized and degenerate. They are supposed to wander about the country ( Vaganten) 
and find precarious support from day to day by the generous gifts they elicited through the 
singing of Latin songs. Thus is our literary history gradually come to the odd view that 
profane mediaeval poems in Provencal, French, and German were written chiefly by noble 
people, but the Latin ones by tatterdemalions (Lumpen). 

" But, generally speaking, it is to be hoped that critics will finally cease referring the 
mediaeval Latin songs, particularly those that treat of wine, women, and gaming, on the 
one hand to a single poet such as the scholarly Walter of (Jhfttillon, or on the other hand to 
beggarly vagabonds. These songs are, to be sure, composed by persons well versed in the 
Latin tongue, but such people were at that time the intellectual flower of Germany, France, 
and England. Above all, the majority and the most ardent of these lyrics we certainly owe 
to the young students. But at that period, as at all times, many older men as well, ecclesi- 
astics, jurists, physicians, loved poetry and contributed many a flower to the rich garland 
of mediaeval Latin verse. Teachers of Latin were pre-eminently called to such a task, 
teachers of elegance of style and of poetry, for which posts professional poets were best 
adapted ; and in such a company the Primus (Hugo of Orleans) seems to belong." 

1 confess I do not just grasp Meyer's reasoning. He is willing to concede that young 
students and older clerks wrote the songs, but objects to assigning them to beggarly and 
dissolute monks and clerks. These deprecatory adjectives have been so largely used by 
critics when speaking of the- authors of some of these songs, because the themes of them 
presuppose rather graceless people, and because we are constantly advised that the 
young students and clerks were anything but a quiescent and moral lot. Parodies on 
hymns and masses, eodomitic allusions and pederastic pieces, odes to sexual intercourse, 
scoffing at calendered saints, begging for hats, coats, and trunks wherewith to cover naked- 
ness, riotous drinking-songs, macaronic ditties with the nastier half in the vernacular 
tongue ; blasphemy, braggadocio, and bluff ! Would Wilh. Meyer have us believe these the 
carefully prepared pieces of quiet souls 7 And who may persuade us that runaway monks 
and scampish clerks were not possessed of even more flashing mental brilliancy than those 
who stayed within the walls of cell and study ? 

1 1 am not here discussing, nor thinking of, the greater pieces associated with the 
names of Golias, Archipoeta, and Primas. For such genial and learned endeavor one or 
more scholars of unusual attainment must be posited, whether Mapes, or Serlo, or Walter, 
or Alanus, or Philip of Greve, or Hugo of Orleans or another like them that we shall 
probably never know. Nor am I thinking of other larger and student-lamp-erudite pieces. 
1 have in mind the real lyrics and shorter ballads, and pungent satirical bits such as could 
be and would be sung today, if a real understanding of the original texts and melodies 
might come to us. 

2 These vagabond students and clerks need not always (or even often) have been the 
authors of the pieces they sang and recited. In a sense these lyrics were volkslieder or 
popularizing songs at any rate. Schnaderhupfel sung by peasants in southern Germany 
today have been the product of poets like Castelli and Stelzhammer; folk-songs which a 
nation industriously hums, frequently without thought of their authorship, spring from 
Goethe, Uhland, Heine, Eichendorff, etc. This may well have been somewhat the state 
of things in mediaeval Europe. As romantic poets of recent days write kostiimlieder by the 
thousand, songs full of wandering minstrels, postillions, miller-lads, huntsmen, etc., so 
doubtless did certain professional poets of an older age turn off roundelays and madrigals 
having to do with clerks and students and their adventures in foreign climes. 



for this theory seems based overmuch upon the belief that in the 
twelfth century and thereafter none but professional students of 
one sort and another could write, ape, or understand Latin verses. 
But we may let this current doctrine pass, although before it be 
accepted fully more conclusive proof should be demanded. 1 

There was presumably never an or do vagorum a close-knit 
fraternity of goliards. Such a thing is hinted at in but few songs 
and in such a way as to suggest a waggish jest and not sobriety. 
We know, too, that there were orders of all kinds promulgated by 
mediaeval literature as a fling at the different monastic orders. 
There was, for instance, an ordo stultorum, but who would imagine 
that the twenty-seven classes of its membership really set sail in 
the narrenschiff for Narragonia ! The Liber vagatorum tells us 
of an order of beggars that had twenty-eight kinds of tramps. 2 
Then there was the Ass's guild with its varying badges and insignia 
to show the world what an Independent Order of Odd Fellows it 
boasted of. There were many sorts of mock religious orders, like 
those in the Land of Cockagne and in other popular poems, 3 but 
who would claim a real existence in fact for them ? In other 
words a joke is a joke, even if it be misunderstood; and it seems 
strange that nothing less than trephining may convince some that 
there never was a guild of goliards. 

Then certain others still believe bishop Golias to be a his- 
torical person and perhaps will continue in this faith, even after 
reading Mr: Manly's recent relegation of him to the Old Testa- 
ment. 4 But surely if he did live again in mediaeval times he was 
nearly related to the abbas cucaniensis and to the praesul concu- 

i In his Dark Ages Maitland is ever on the track of such cocksure orthodoxy. Cf . p. 32 
of his book (5th ed., 1890), where he demands evidence for the flat statement of Robinson: 
" During the ages we are contemplating persons of the highest rank and in the most eminent 
stations could not read or write." Now, as a matter of fact, Latin songs of a light variety 
may have thriven more widely and earlier than is commonly supposed because (1) as pre- 
sented by the minstrel they were undoubtedly aided by gesture, vernacular interpolation, 
pantomime, and dance ; (2) these songs would be patiently listened to even by audiences 
blissfully ignorant of their meaning, much as German, French, and Italian pieces are 
eagerly heard by " musicale " gatherings today. 

2 Cf. Ave-Lallement, Geschichte des deutschen Gaunertums (1858). 

3 Cf . for example Nos. 209 and 210 in Uhland's Volkslieder : 

Wir wollen ein klostcrlein banen 

von lauter schonen jungfrauen ; 

ein solcher orden wollen wir ban, etc. 

* Cf . " Familia Goliae " in Modern Philology, Vol. V, pp. 201 ff. 



caniae, 1 of whom he once begged a mantle. He belonged, then, 
to the same court as that which harbored the prince de sots and 
the roi de ribands being perchance their chaplain. He served 
indifferently the king of harlottes and the roi petaud and lived 
for some years in the empire de Galilee. His spiritual master 
must have been the papa scholasticus, his sister in the flesh was 
the abbess of Avignon brothels, and the parentage of the boy 
bishoppe may well be ascribed to him. Once when on a pilgrim- 
age of state he was royally received by the queen of Geneva 
trulls. 2 

But if the Latin minstrels of the eleventh and twelfth centuries 
did not constitute a guild, they are still imagined by many to be 
ever upon the march. They studied jurisprudence at Bologna, 
medicine at Salerno, dialectic at Rheims, grammar at Orleans, and 
theology at Paris. 3 The face of Europe was dotted with teachers 
of rhetoric and the roads leading to their schools were black with 
graceless students wending their way thither perhaps. But 
while there is an evident connection between some, even much, of 
mediaeval literature and such clerks, there is no need of insisting 
upon such a connection in the case of many Latin songs. Many 
lyrics were composed by scholars, many more were not. Every 
learner was not a minstrel any more than every minstrel was a 
learner. Below I am going to differentiate with what sharp- 
ness I may between goliardic poetry and popular Latin poetry. 
Meanwhile it is doubtless best to pause and see what can be done 
to rectify the general impression that the Latin lyric is a great 
insoluble mass, a corporate entity from which one cannot detach 
certain groups to study as examples of national expression. 

Suppose we begin by dividing this mass into three parts, 
labeling one Religious and Didactic, another Satire, and the third 
Ballads of Love, Spring, and Wine. With some study of the 

'Cf. Carmina burana (1847), No. 196; and the Ridmus episcopi Gulii (Werner Beitr. z. 
Kunde d. lat. Lit. d. MA.* [1905], p. 205). On the whole subject of the land of Cockagne see 
Graf, Miti, leggende, e superstizioni del media evo, Vol. I (1892), pp. 229-38. 

2 He who would learn more of these "historical" prelates and potentates may consult 
Hertz, SpielmannsbucM, p. 338. 

3 Or, to quote the caustic monk of Froidmont (12th century) : "In Paris these scholars 
seek liberal arts, in Orleans authors, at Salerno gallipots, at Toledo demons, and in no place 
decent manners." (Cf. Biblioth. Cisterc., Vol. VII, p. 257.) 



material it will be discovered that such a classification has a real 
existence in fact. 

This division, to be sure, excludes much: for instance, narra- 
tive and epic poems on ancient subjects, such as the Fall of Troy 
or the deeds of Alexander; pseudo-historical records of the gesta 
of secular and churchly notables; rhyming prose devoted to the 
praise of continence, chess, mathematics, early-rising, grammar, 
and quasi-scientific study; alphabetic stanzas, acrostics, centos, 
catalogues of birds and beasts, epigrams, epitaphs, glosses, riddles, 
versified letters in fact the most stilted poetry of the school 
routine; poetry forged when it was cold and beaten into shape 
with a hammer; verse which is the vehicle for every farrago of 
mediaeval nonsense; folderol of magic, incantations, natural his- 
tory games, long descriptive pieces such as the conflicti. These 
and all their like are exempt from our treble division but who 
would denominate them lyrics ? They are void of the personal 
appeal and of all immediate interest. They describe no living 
scene, are without local color, have no esprit de place. They 
have about as much atmosphere as a Leyden jar. We might as 
well hunt for seventeenth-century Italy in the Adriatische Rosa- 
mund as seek aught of mediaeval Europe in the withered moss of 
such strophes. Such poetry as this if poetry it be Scherer is 
brooding on when he says all traces of its immediate origin are 
hid, but it is not the Latin garb in which it is clothed that hides 
the source; rather because it is the offscouring of dulness, the 
vaporing of empty minds. 

True to the tenets elsewhere expressed, I believe it desirable 
to effect a separation of the mediaeval Latin lyric material accord- 
ing to theme and manner of treatment, rather than according to 
difference in external form. The customary division into metric 
on the one hand and rhythmic on the other does not appear 
necessarily distinctive, for our present purpose, at least. A lyric 
is surely no less a lyric whatever its outward guise. Who would 
dismiss Fulbert's spring-song from an anthology of mediaeval 
verse because of its conventional scaffolding ? 

When the earth, with spring returning, vests herself in fresher sheen, 
And the glades and leafy thickets are arrayed in living green; 



When a sweeter fragrance breatheth flowery fields and vales along, 
Then, triumphant in her gladness, Philomel begins her song: 
And with thick delicious warble far and wide her notes she flings, 
Telling of the happy springtide and the joys that summer brings. 
In the pauses of men's slumber deep and full she pours her voice, 
In the labor of his travel bids the wayfarer rejoice. 
Night and day, from bush and greenwood, sweeter than an earthly lyre, 
She, unwearied songstress, carols, distancing the feathered choir, 
Fills the hillside, fills the valley, bids the groves and thickets ring, 
Made indeed 1 exceeding glorious through the joyousness of spring. 1 

Who would care to suppress from any discussion of the lyric dur- 
ing the Middle Ages the following two poems written four centu- 
ries apart, one by Alcuin or Fridugisus, the other by Marbod of 
Rennes, both of which treat of the healing influences of nature 
a theme so common in modern art. Smoothly enough runs on the 

O mea cella, mihi habitatio dulcis, amata, 
Semper in aeternum, o mea cella, vale. 
Undique te cingit ramis resonantibus arbos, 
Silvula florigeris semper onusta comis. 
Prata salutiferis florebunt omnia et herbis, 
Quas medici quaerit dextra salutis ope. 
Flumina te cingunt florentibus undique ripis, 
Retia piscator qua sua tendit ovans. 
Pomiferis redolent ramis tua claustra per hortos, 
Lilia cum rosulis Candida mixta rubris. 
Omne genus volucrum matutinas personat odas, 
Atque creatorem laudat in ore deum. 2 

1 Cum telluris, vere novo, producuntur germina, 
Nemorosa circumcirca f rondescunt et brachia ; 
Fragrat odor cum suavis florida per gramina, 
Hilarescit Philomela, dulcia sonus conscia : 
Et extendens modulando gutturis spiramina, 
Reddit veris et aestivi temporis praeconia. 
Instat nocti et diei voce sub dulcisona, 
Soporatis dans quietem cantus per discrimina, 
Necnon pulcra viatori laboris solatia. 
Vocis ejus pulcritudo clarior quam cithara; 
Vincitur omuis cautando volucrum cater vula ; 
Implet silvas atque cuncta modulis arbustula 
Gloriosa valde facta veris prae laetitia. 

For appreciative discussion of this and Marbod's song, cf. Trench, Sacred Latin 
Poetry^ (1874), pp. 47 ff. The translation is by J. M. Neale; cf. his Mediaeval Hymns 
and Sequences (1863). 

tPoetae aevi Karolini, Vol. I (1881), ed. Dummler, p, 243. 



More awkwardly versified is the other, but a deeper earnestness 
veins it: 

Moribus esse feris prohibet me gratia veris, 
Et formam mentis mihi mutuor ex elementis. 
Ipsi naturae congratulor, ut puto, jure: 
Distinguunt flores diversi mille colores, 
Gramineum vellus superinduxit sibi tellus, 
Fronde virere nemus et fructificare videmus; 
Egrediente rosa viridaria sunt speciosa. 
Qui tot pulcra videt, nisi flectitur et nisi ridet, 
Intractabilis est, et in ejus pectore lis est; 
Qui speciem terrae non vult cum laude referre, 
Invidet Auctori, cujus subservit honori 
Bruma rigens, aestas, auctumnus, veris honestas. 1 

Lack of space alone forbids the listing of other metrical stanzas 
from the Carolingian poets as well as from those of a later day, 
which would show how clearly they may be regarded as forerun- 
ners of the great modern poets of nature, or even as true inter- 
preters of the beauty of the world in which they dwelt. Francke 
calls attention to the isolation of the cloisters, to the humble tasks 
of monks in the way of cultivating the fields, to the close touch in 
which they came with the outdoor world of fertile valley or wilder 
summit, as animating causes of the lively sense for nature which 
many school poems exhibit. If we do but add one other source 
for the nature description found in such lines perhaps we have 
the whole truth. This other source are the natureingdnge and 
vivification found everywhere in the rude popular song which 
every age exhibits. Such decorative bits as did not come to school- 
poetry from a Vergil, a Prudentius, or a Fortunatus, may well have 
been supplied by the inexhaustible treasury of folk-verse. 

iHildeberti et Marbodi Opera, ed. Beaugendre (1708), p. 1617; Migue, Patrologia, Vol. 
CXV1I, p. 1717 ; Trench, op. cit., p. 49. Mr. G. L. Hendrickson translates the poem : 

That I should be harsh and brutish the grace of the springtime forbids, 

And the form of my soul I draw from the things about me. 

To Nature's self for this I give thanks and praise, nor, I think, without reason: 

For her flowers are gay with a thousand varied colors, 

A grassy fleecf over the earth she has drawn. 

With leaves the grove is green and bursts with buds, 

Garden plots are bright with the emerging rose. 

Who such beauty can behold nor yet be moved nor glad, 

Him shall nothing have power to stir, and in his heart is discord; 

Hn who will not proclaim with praise the beauty of earth 

Is churlish toward his maker, whose honor serves 

The stern winter, summer, autumn, and the spring's loveliness. 



Among much that is chaff one meets an occasional passage of 
true poetry which is perhaps the more moving for its very un- 
expectedness. We should be much the loser in omitting from our 
study of the mediaeval lyric th,e elegiac lines of Agius, which 
express his yearning for Hadumod, 1 the scene in Strabo's Hortulus 
where a mother fights off Death from her exhausted child, or the 
Vision of Merchdeof, written by the English monk ^Ethelwulf 
(Clarus lupus). 2 The environment of such passages is largely 
metrical and stilted. But who can say from the ninth century on 
just what line divides meter from rhythm? Are the ensuing 
rhymed hexameters or doggerel verses no matter if they be 
measured six feet to the line: 

Ordo monasticus ecclesiasticus esse solebat, 

Dura cibaria cum per agrestia rura colebat. 

Nulla pecunia nulla negotia praepediebant, 

Quam capitalia quam venialia nostra piebant. 3 

More important surely for mediaeval philology than to sift and 
arrange poems carefully according to their meters is the task of 
calling attention to what is worth while in these verses; 4 to do 
away with the impression which often still prevails that the Latin 
of the Middle Ages separates ancient from modern times, much 
as the desert of Sahara lies between the Atlantic Ocean and the 
valley of the Nile. 5 And yet another reason why we may be per- 

1 Poetae aevi Karolini, Vol. Ill, ed. Traube, pp. 369 ff. ; Taylor, The Classical Heritage of 
the Middle Ages (New York), 1903, p. 299. 

2 Of. Poetae aevi Karolini, Vol. Ill, Part 2, p. 33 ; ibid., Vol. I, pp. 582 ff . ; Traube, Karo- 
lingische Dichtungen (1888), p. 8. 

3 For other examples of such rhymed hexameters cf. Wilhelm Meyer's " Radewins Theo- 
philus nnd die Arten der gereimten Hexameter" (Sitzungsber. d. Mttnchener Akad. (1873), 
Vol. I. pp. 74 ff.), or now his Gesammelte Abhandlungen zur mittellateinischen Rhythmik 
(1905), Vol. I, pp. 84 ff. 

* Winterfeld prefaced the Stilfragen aus der lateinischen Dichtung des Mitlelalters with 
the statement : "Mediaeval philology would surrender the finest results it could possibly 
attain, it would be dead at its own hands, if it neglected to winnow out from the whole mass 
of literature that which is vital for us today, that which deserves to endure or to be awakened 
into new life. There is not overmuch of such material ; but they are unlettered who refuse 
the claim of the Middle Ages to have produced individual compositions of the highest order 
real national creations, even though they are written in the language of Rome." 

5 Hark while Budik speaks with trumpet voice : "Since the ages of Pericles and,Augustus, 
whose perfect creations enjoy imperishable youth, until the middle of the fifteenth century, 
one sees nothing but a desert waste, the dreary and sterile monotony of which is broken only 
by some scattered brushwood, whose most vigorous productions awaken rather astonishment 
than admiration." Cf. Leben und Wirken der vorzilglichsten lateinischen Dichter des xv-xviii. 
Jahrhunderts (1828), p. 7. 



mitted to divide the mass of mediaeval song into the three cate- 
gories above suggested is that we desire in all simplicity to detach 
a certain group from the complete corpus in order to refer it to 
Germany (or to France, as the case may be). We may then 
speak of such a group as a national and native product, and not 
as a cosmopolitan and universal one; if, that is, we succeed in 
making evident that Germany had previous to its native minnesang 
a more or less popular tradition of Latin love-songs written by 
Germans then one source at least of the Swabian efflorescence is 
made clear. And Latin minnelieder become the utterance of 
German sentimentality, if we successfully fix their roots in 
Bavarian soil. Latin love-songs though they be, we may then 
regard them as lyrics written by Germans, the outgrowth of south- 
ern German life and social conditions, the expression of their 
immediate environment, just as truly and as nearly as all the tune- 
ful poetry of Goethe is but the later budding of his Main-and- 
Rhein sojourn, a region where blood flows as lightly and merrily 
as wine. 


The first sort of Latin lyric the religious and didactic poem 
existed continuously all through the early centuries and in the 
Middle Ages. The church hymn and the ode to some particular 
saint, devout inscriptions on portal and tomb, philosophizing 
distichs on the evils of this world and the glories of the next, 
admonitions to chastity and piety, elucidations of Old Testament 
story these fairly distinguishable sorts of religious and didactic 
lyric are foreign to our present endeavor. It is not their Latin 
diction which obscures all trace of their place of origin it is rather 
the dead level of their manner and tone, the unvarying theme of 
their discourse. Even when they do become elegiac or sentimental, 
or contain as often bits of nature-description 1 and lilting cadences, 

i Prudentius, from whom scores of mediaeval hymnodists copied, is full of such nature- 
descriptions, beautiful in color and often worldly in tone. One may cull them from almost 
any page of his Cathemerinon. The following quatrain is typical of many : 

Methinks in all her rustic bowers 

The earth is spread with clustering flowers : 

Odors of nard and nectar sweet 

E'en o'er the sands of Syrtes fleet. 

Did we not know the context we could easily confuse such places as this with the utterances 
of Ausonius in his De rosis nascentibus, or his Mosella, or with such stanzas as that in which 



rising at times to really fervid and emotional utterance 1 as a 
body of verse they still remain aside from the real world of life 
and living men, and their prototype is almost without exception 
the Bible and the older Latin literature, classical or patristic. Adam 
of St. Victor, with whom perhaps even Hildebert of Tours cannot 
dispute the palm of sacred Latin poetry, is a notable illustration 
of this. A perusal of his hymns will show them to be weighted with 
learned allusion 2 that rarely fuses into the passion of his verse, 
that gives no hint of the land of his birth or his adoption. The 
authors of many such pieces are known such a one French, this 
one English, that one of Italy ; but yet none should make bold to 
find localized description in them, they do not smell of the soil that 
bore them, they do not sing peculiar scenes. They either glow 
with a fervor single to the kingdom of God or shiver frostily in 
the chill gleams of professional religiosity and cant. They are 
generally but the frozen and inane emanation of a poetical rhetoric 
that was the serving-maid of theology, whether they spring from 
Aix or Orleans, from Paris or Padua. 

There are, however, two related lyric forms which it costs 
something to lay aside. One is the secular ode modeled directly 
upon hymns to the Virgin; the other is the religious parody. 
According to the standards of today the first class is apt to be re- 
garded as lecherous but in certain cases it is impossible to decide 
whether we are confronted by mediaeval naivete* or by the most 
outspoken brutality. It is difficult for us to imagine a deliberate 
sensuality appearing in the cult of Mary-worship which the twelfth 
century carried to such extravagance, 3 and yet we may scarcely rid 
ourselves of suspicion. It is unnecessary to deal with this topic at 

Symmachus sings the charms of Gaums and Baja. Cf. Pope, The Hymns of Prudentiua 
(London), 1904, pp. 25, 27, 39, 45, 47, 53, 91, 105, 128; Ampere, Histoire litteraire de la France 
avant Charlemagne (1867)2, p. 268; Boissier, La fin du paganisme (1891), Vol. II, p. 213. 

1 1 should not willingly be thought guilty in this connection of lightly dismissing the 
claims of mediaeval hymnody to that which in individual instances it attained : the greatest 
artistic beauty of lyric expression between the Silver Age and the Age of Renaissance. I am 
merely characterizing with a sole aim in view the great mass of religions and didactic utter- 
ance as we find it, say, in Dreves' Analecta hymnica medii aevi, in the Poetae aevi Karolini, 
and other encyclopedic collections. 

2Cf. Gautier, (Euvres pottigues d'Adam de St. Victor (1881)2; Dreves, Stimmen aits 
Maria-Loach, Vol. XXIX, pp. 278, 416 ; Trench, op. cit., pp. 55 ff . 

3Cf. Gourmont, Le latin mystique (1892), p. 202; also Salzer, Die Sinnbilder und Beiworte 
Martens in der deutschen Literatur und lateinischen Hymnenpoesie des Mittelalters (1890). 



any length and so I will content myself with printing what may 
be regarded as an urtypus of this sort of thing and then dismiss 
the matter with a note. 1 

Ave, pulcra pelle, pulpa, 
Foecundata sine culpa, 

Sine viri semine! 
Ave, cujus pulcrimenti 
Totus f ulgor firmamenti 

Vincitur vibramine! 

Ave, pulcra naso, malis, 
Pulcra dorso, pulcra palis, 

Dentiumque serie! 
Pulcra, pulcram aliorum 
Formam vincis et olorum 

Olorina facie. 

Luckily such travesties of sacred odes do not seem to contain 
the living spark. Compared with the long life which dwelt within 
other kinds of mediaeval lyric they had their ephemeral day and 
passed. Not so with the bacchic songs which parodied religious 

lyrics, such as: 

Ave! Color vini clari; 
Ave! Sapor sine pari; 
Tua nos inebriari 

Digneris potential 

1 Personally I connect such songs with the longer descriptive pieces dealing with the 
mistress bit by bit, and believe that they both had their origin in monastic and clerical 
celibacy. Here, too, in my opinion, belong the paidika and pederastic poems. Such themes 
as the dissection of the weaker sex into a hundred anatomical parts and love-messages to 
boys we know were seized upon avidly by mediaeval poetasters and the resultant verses had 
a wide diffusion almost beyond that of any other type of song. In the course of casual read- 
ing in mediaeval poetry and prose I have been able to add some thirty titles to the bibliog- 
raphy of sodomy in the Middle Ages contained in Traube, O Roma nobilis, p. 308; Du Meril 
(1847), p. 102; Dttmmler Zeitschr.f.deut. Alt., Vol. XXII, p. 256; and Hertz, Spielmannsbuch 1 *, 
p. 375. And as to the other theme the microscopical study of woman there is literally no 
end to the number of its adherents. He who wishes to have his fill of such cataloguing at a 
single sitting may turn best perhaps to the narrative poem of 150 leonine distichs printed 
in Dummler's Anselm der Peripatetiker (Halle), 1872, or to Gerald of Barri's Descriptio 
cujusdam puellae. in 49 distichs (Opera, 1862, ed. Brewer, Vol. II). 

Two matters of some importance we may gain from a study of this perversion of poetry : 
(1) If such voluptuousness be the result, as I imagine, of continence rather than of loose-liv- 
ing, then most of this unchaste verse need not be regarded as the work of ribald and blas- 
phemous clerks whom learning had spoiled for the church, but rather as the tortured fancies 
bred in monkish cells fancies that at times border (as Symonds suggests) upon delirium. 
(Cf. Hagen, Carmina medii aevi [1877], pp. 178 ff.) ; (2) Where no certain records of date exist, 
we do not need to deny an early mediaeval origin of such songs as the Lydia bella Candida 
puella, merely because their intensity of passion appear to the impulsive critic to be 
" classical " or "modern." 



Felix venter quern intrabis ! 
Felix lingua quam rigabis! 
Felix os quod tu lavabis, 
Et beata labia! 1 

These drinking-songs had a long and sturdy, if little dignified, 
line of descendants. There are many reasons for such popularity : 
they were singable and simple ordinarily beyond their compeers 
which dealt with sexual love, and they were more natural. Some- 
times they contain an honest note of protest, often a sparkling wit. 
As they get farther and farther from their original Ave model they 
often deserve inclusion among the best drinking-songs and this is 
high praise which the Middle Ages have given us. But for our 
purpose, which is to contrast popular Latin poetry with that of 
the school and church, they had best remain in the place to which 
their origin assigns them: with the religious ode which they cari- 
cature. For, whatever may be the animating motive of these 
stanzas, whether intentional parody or imitation of sacred verses 
as a matter of pure convenience, the result is the same. They are 
general and vague in tone, without distinctive appeal. No more 
cosmopolitan and threadbare expression can be imagined than that 
which clothes them. If we happen to suspect that a certain 
Frenchman, say, wrote one of them, it was as a clerk that he wrote, 
not as a Frenchman and his model has been so closely followed 
or transcribed that no trace of authorship can be safely postulated. 
Now in laying aside from the discussion the Latin religious 
lyric it must not be thought that I am prone to doubt the impor- 
tant influence which has been ascribed to it as a model for much 
of the profane lyric. But we do not need, on the basis of all our 
evidence, to believe that the mediaeval Latin song owed its very 
existence to either school or church. I may hope to have made at 
least acceptable in an earlier essay the doctrine that a German 
popular balladry ever existed ; such poems were of course accentual 
in utterance, like similar volkslieder in neighboring France. And 
tnere is no need of our holding in the light of this knowledge that 

iFor a full treatment and bibliography of sacred parody in mediaeval and modern 
literature cf. Novati, Studi critici e letterari (Turin), 1889, pp. 179-310. The listing of a score 
of other titles which deal with this same subject in one phase or another would have no 
point here, as Novati's remarkable essay contains them all. 



church hymns exercised a predominant influence in bringing about 
rhythmic verse when the latter was everywhere already. 1 There 
was as we know a profane poetry in the Middle Ages which imi- 
tated awkwardly but assiduously the metrical (quantitative) 
poems of classical authors. There was, too, a profane poetry which 
was much influenced by the church hymn and like it employed 
rhythmic (accentual) expressions. The former of these was ordi- 
narily known as versus, the latter as mod(ul}i. Immense bodies 
of poetic writing represent the one or the other of these classes ; 
and still there need be no fear in believing that one sort of erotic 
lyric the kind which lent itself most readily to dance and song, 
to lightness and grace and swing found its most perfect model in 
the vernacular measures which German and French already knew. 
This may seem a dogmatic statement and at first blush unwar- 
ranted by the facts. It is an assertion which should not be 
lightly made, but it may not with justice be lightly dismissed. 
I would but ask the reader's reservation of judgment until the 
facts are all displayed, and in order not to duplicate evidence 
would refer him once for all to what has been adduced in my 
previous article already referred to. 

If we must exclude the first class of lyric, then, from our study 
of native and national song written in Latin if the Religious 
and Didactic poem does not answer to the demands made upon a 
popular body of verse let us now examine the other two sorts: 
the Satire, and the Ballads of Love, Spring, and Wine. 

1 Rather than attempt a statement of my own on this important point I believe it all- 
sufficient to quote the words of Gaston Paris (Lettre a M. L6on Gautier sur la versification 
latine rhythmique^ 1866, p. 23) : " Pour moi, je pense au contraire que la versification 
rhythmique est d'origine toute populaire, qu'elle n'a d'autre source qu'elle-mfime, qu'elle a 
exist6 de tout temps chez les Remains, qu'elle ne doit rien a la metrique, et qu'elle est avec 
elle precisement dans le mfime rapport que la langue populaire, le sermo plebeius, avec la 
langue litteraire de Rome. Toutes deux ont eu la m6me destinee : la langue lettree et la 
versification metrique, mortes reellement avec 1'empire, ont conserv6 chez les savants une 
vie artificielle qui dure encore; la langue populaire et la versification rhythmique ont con- 
tinu6 a vivre, et se sont developpees et ramifiees dans les langages et dans les pofeies des 
nations romaines. La versification populaire notamment, meprisee et obscure au temps de 
la grandeur romaine, conservee & peine en quelques fragments par des ecrivains amateur, s 
d'anecdotes qui ont sacrifi6 la \lignit6 a la curiosite, acquit avec le christianisme un 
domaine immense et une inspiration nouvelle, et produisitbientOt avec une richesse inoule 
de quoi porter pendant dix siecles toute la poesie de plusieurs grands peuples: c'est verita- 
blement le grain de eenev6 de la parabole, vile semence, dedaigneusement jet6e en terre, qui 
devient un arbre aux mille branches, verdoyant et touffu, sur lequel chantent les oisoaux du 



Some claim has already been put forward for the mediaeval 
Latin satire as an essentially French thing. Giesebrecht long 
ago insisted upon northern France as the birthplace of the 
goliard and of goliardic poetry. 1 And he seems in a way to have 
won his point, despite the fact that his attempt to identify the 
archpoet (Golias) with Walter of Chfttillon has failed, 2 and that 
the claims advanced for Germany and England (even for Italy) 3 
have never been definitely quashed. But historians and critics 
of French literature still treat of Latin satire as a thing apart from 
the development of national spirit and vernacular progress. 4 
Whereas, if we but substantiate their claim to French origin, 
Latin satires become in a trice the precipitate of Gallic wit. Does 
the investigator not thus yield to the temptation of regarding the 
problem which confronts him in the case of any text as a literary 
rather than a historical one, so that if he be confronted by a Latin 
satire, or by an oriental tale written in Latin, he is prone to con- 
sider them un-French matters, because their sources or their 
manner are cosmopolitan and extraneous, and not provincial? 
Would it not be more profitable to view any literary expression 
that grew hardily in mediaeval France from the background of 
mediaeval France itself? 

For, suppose such forms as appear in France at this time, 
except for the indigenous chansons de geste and the canso, were 
transplanted from other climes ; does this mean that we can afford to 
study them other than as the product of this age and this particular 
region ? Must we not seek in them the idea of their French adapters 
rather than the original theme which they received from other and 
older civilizations? The palm tree and the olive which are such 
characteristic features of the northern Mediterranean land-line are 
demonstrably new adaptations. The whole plant growth of many 

i Allgemeine Monatsschrift (1853), pp. 16 ff. 

2Cf. Haureau, Not. et. Extr., Vol. XXIX, pt. 2, pp. 253 ff., and Meyer, Gottinger Nach- 
richten, p. 75. 

3Cf. J. Grimm, and Wright, opp. cit., and Burckhardt, Die Kultur der RerMis*ance in 
Italien (1869). 

* So much so that it comes never to mention except perhaps in some single instance 
where an individual Latin poem offers the source of a French derivative. Cf. Lenient, 
La satire en France au moyen age (1893); Haessner, Goliardendichtung u. Satire im arm. 
Jhdt. in England (1905) ; Langlois, Revue bleue (1892), p. 808. 



a European landscape has quite changed within historic times. 
But do we therefore consider this vegetation a foreign thing ? Is 
not any growth which takes root in a new soil and prospers for 
generations in sun and rain the very product of the new soil to 
which it has been transplanted? In final analysis is not practi- 
cally everything a nation possesses borrowed at some time or other 
from an outland source, at least so far as external form is concerned ? 
We have just termed the chanson de geste indigenous to France, 
but in last reduction is it French or is it German ? And who shall 
ever solve the problem of what to denominate the oral tradition 
of the Merovingian epoch ? Was it still German, all Latin, or a 
near-Latin known as Romanice? 

Now I may not attempt to deal here further with the mediaeval 
satire as an essentially French development, for several reasons. 
First, I am at present little fitted for the task; second, if done at 
all, it must be made the subject of another occasion in order not 
to confuse the issue of the present one ; and third, satirical poetry 
seems to me only lyric in that highest flight it takes when it ceases 
to deal with the stereotyped abuses of the Roman church and 
expresses the poet's personal feeling of injury or shame. So many 
twelfth- and thirteenth-century satirical poems are nothing more 
than mere objurgations of the inherent viciousness of woman, of 
dissuasion from sodomy and greed, of complaint of simony and 
niggardliness within the church, that the personal element so 
necessary to all lyric expression is lost. 

It must, however, not be felt that these words constitute an 
evasion of the point before us. He who devotes sufficient study to 
the task will find that thirteenth -century English satire owes much 
in form and spirit to the Latin satire which thousands of young 
English students learned to know at the schools of northern 
France; 1 'and, what is much more to the point, he will learn to dis- 
tinguish sharply between Latin satires composed on the one hand 
by Frenchmen and on the other by Englishmen. Thus will an 
added distinguishing mark be gained for the temperament of 

1 1 miss from the otherwise excellent chapter of Schofield on "Anglo-Latin Literature" 
a sufficient acknowledgment of this debt. Cf. English Literature from the Norman Con- 
quest to Chaucer (1906), pp. 59 S. 



either nationality during the age in question. And this, I take 
it, is one of the highest rewards for which the comparative study 
of literature strives. 

And now perhaps we should be ready to take up the third 
type of mediaeval Latin lyric, the twelfth-century Ballads of Love, 
Spring, and Wine, and show how a double tradition maintained 
within this class: one that of the school and of learning, the 
other altogether popular in tone and as simple as any of the 
tuneful Romantic songs of thirteenth- or nineteenth -century 
Germany. But before we come to this final chapter there is still 
pioneer work to be done. Because there exists no adequate his- 
tory of mediaeval poetry it is not generally known that before the 
twelfth century Latin lyrical poetry shows the same types as later. 
This we shall therefore demonstrate before dealing with the 
lyrical type of special interest to us. 


We have seen thus far that there is a tendency to assign to 
the protean mime the lyric material previous to the end of the 
eleventh century, in so far as it was not the work of clerics; 1 and 
from then forward to bespeak the same material for the goliard. 
Now the first of these appellations has been shown to be but a 
generic term for "entertainer," and the same fact is true of the 
latter word. If we examine the records of twelfth, thirteenth, 
and fourteenth centuries we find goliardi closely adjoined to and 
synonymous wtthribaldi, bufones, leccatores,joculatores, trutanni, 
vagi scholares, parasiti, histriones, pauperes, enchanteors, mene- 
strieux, and the like. "Goliard" like "villein" has become a 

iGrOber (Orundriss, Vol. II, Part 1, p. 180) would surrender practically all this early 
material to the cleric. Of the poetry during the ninth and tenth centuries he says : " Pro- 
fane sentiment and sympathy with earthly pleasures, the prerequisites of a secular lyric, 
were so reckoned a shame by the cleric who alone ( 1) could use the Latin language, that he 
dared not find expression for them in poetry. Impenetrable to earthly joy and sorrow alike, 
he was prone to struggle against worldly impulses, and only referred to them in his writing 
to warn against them or to implore divine aid in their subduing. And when the cleric does 
allude to worldly themes he so conquers them, so tones them down, that his personal dignity 
does not suffer in the least. Very little documented verse of this time (A. D. 800-1000) over- 
steps such limitations. 1 ' 



wide term of derogation and reproach 1 and little is therefore to 
be gained by associating the name with a great mass of mediaeval 
Latin poetry which deals in every possible way with almost every- 
thing under heaven from the tenth to the fifteenth century. 

I believe it would add everywhere to clarity of discussion, if 
the term "goliardic poetry" was retained for erotic and satirical 
Latin verses written by school poets from the rise of learning in 
the twelfth century down to say the Italian Renaissance; this 
would allow us to speak of a "popular Latin poetry" when refer- 
ring during the same period to erotic and singable Latin lyrics 
which are free from the quibbles and formulae of the more 
mechanical and cultured poetry. Before the twelfth century 
the popular sort of Latin verse may be referred to a " minstrelsy," 
the remainder of it which is evidently the labor of school bench 
and monkish cell may be denominated "clerical" or "school" 
poetry. If we wish, we may of course substitute the mime for 
the minstrel when we speak of popularizing verse before 1100, 
but this would appear undesirable because of the false impli- 
cations of the word suggested above. It is at least necessary 
that we possess concise terms with which to designate the oppos- 
ing sorts of verse of which we are now come to speak, to avoid 
the confusion which arises from the consideration of them as 
one indissoluble entity. 

First, let us pass in review what there was in Latin poetry 
before the twelfth century that furnished models for the verses of 
the goliards. Such a list is not elsewhere accessible, and I may 
therefore be forgiven for entering upon the subject at greater 
length than would otherwise be necessary. The result of this 
examination will show that for two centuries before Abelard, 
St. Bernard, and Walter of Chatillon there existed in France and 
Germany Latin lyrics and ballads pliant in meter, ready in rhyme, 

iCf. the suggestive declension of this word written down by some surly mediaeval 
scholar (Novati, Carmina medii aevi, 1883, p. 28) : 

Singulariter et Pluraliter 

Nom. hie villanus hi maledicti 

Gen. hujus rustic! horum tristium 

Dat. huic tferfero his mendacibus 

Ace. hunc furem hos nequissimos 

Foe. o latro o pessimi 

Abl. ab hoc depredatore ab his infldelibus 



sure in diction, emotional in nature ; requiring but the life-giving 
breath and the enlarging mold of a cosmopolitan and awakened 
age to make of them the graceful poetry of the mediaeval Latin 

1 may not speak for another, but I believe the first sensation 
which comes from reading in the volumes of Poetae aevi Karolini 
is one of frank disappointment. It is a little perhaps as if one's 
hand "had reached out half unconsciously for a book of poems and 
picked up a table of logarithms instead. We feel as though it 
must have been a sorry kind of poetry which devoted itself so 
largely to epitaphs, inscriptions on church gates, riddles, acrostics, 
book titles, and the like. The whole is at first blush about as 
lively as a collection of burial urns. 1 And there are unfortunately 
many who close the covers of these volumes never to return to 

If we are patient, however, and continue in our search through 
the broad acre of measured lines, we begin to gain insight into 
matters which interest us. As we grow accustomed to the absence 
of rhyme, to the dearth of theme, to the stilted manner which is 
characteristic of even the best of this poetry, what with its con- 
stant borrowing from classical imagery and its hollow reminis- 
cence of biblical phrasing, we become conscious that while real 
beauty and earnestness is ever lacking, while the deep issues of 
life are never touched, there is yet before us a body of adequate 
diction, a certain level dignity, a smooth, if shallow, surface of 
expression. How great a step in advance is marked by these 
things he alone knows who has labored, let us say, with the phrases 
of the French grammarian Virgilius Maro, with the befuddled 
Hisperica famina* or truth to tell with the Merovingian bar- 

1 1t is perhaps much to be regretted that we have not fuller remains of the Latin poetry 
written by Irishmen during the sixth and seventh centuries. We know that there reigned 
in the schools of Ireland at this period not alone among her professed scholars but among the 
plain missionaries as well a classical spirit, a love of literature for its own sake, and a keen 
delight in poetry. Cf. Haur6au's chapter on the "EW>les d'lrlande" in his Singularites 
historiques et liiteraires (1861), and Poole, Illustrations of the History of Mediaeval Thought 
(1884), p. 12. For a complete but brief survey of the Irish missions, cf. Haddan's "Scots on 
the Continent " (Remains, Oxford, 1876, pp. 258-94) . Cf . also Roger, Uenseignement des 
lettres classiques d'Ausone a Alcuin (1905), pp. 202-73; Sandys, A History of Classical 
Scholarship (1903), pp. 421 ff. 

2 For the latest and best treatment of these two, with full bibliography, cf. Roger, 
Uenseignement des lettres classiques, pp. 110 ff., 283 ff. 



barisms of Gregory of Tours. In fact the voluble euphuism of 
Venantius Fortunatus, much as the Carolingian poets owed to it, 
offers not the sure foundation for coming lyricality that the broad, 
thin lines of ninth-century canting do. 1 To quote almost at ran- 
dom from the better-known material of this time, here are the 
opening words of the Epitaphium Chlodarii pueri regis : 

Hoc satus in viridi servatur flosculus arvo, 
Pulchrior en lacte candidiorque nive, 
Donee altipotens veniat per saecula judex, 
Qui metet ostrifluas falce perenne rosas. 
Hunc tua, Jordanis, sacrata protulit unda, 
Pampinus Engadi rore beavit eum. 
Livida purpureis vaccinia cincta rosetis 
Vernat ut et rosola gliscit in omne decus, 
Pallida ceu sandix inter viburna refulgit, 
Et nitit imbrifluus Cynthius altus aquis, 
Ut rubit obriza flagranti cocta camino, 
Et rutilat vario Indus honore lapis. 2 

After a little we begin to meet with nature-introductions, or a 
few lines on outdoor nature tucked away here and there in longer 
narrative pieces, and occasionally even with whole songs (if one 
may call them so) devoted to pastoral scenes. Stiff they are still, 
even the De cuculo attributed to Alcuin, and the Carmen philo- 
melaicum of Paulus Albarus, and the Ecloga of Naso, but they 
stir the sense with pleasant anticipation of what is to come when 
poetry shall leave the apron-strings of doctrinal theology and 
come to wander through the earth alone. 

Lumine candoris clarent hie lilia celi, 
Fulbe rose florens imitant his purpura terre 
Et viole pariter stellarum vice coruscant. 
Dum vario redolent pariter unite colore, 
Albeole renitent ceu unio lilia conclis, 
Instar et gipsae conplectens colla puelle 

1 Winterfeld would have brushed this statement impatiently aside. " Mimes every- 
where," he declares. " One citation more or less makes blessed little (blutwenig) difference. 
The Merovingian time was better than its reputation. It has in the poems of its mimes 
works to offer us that contain more poetic strength than the whole erudite Round Table of 
Charles the Great could achieve " (op. cit., pp. 74 and 57). I am willing to be convinced of 
this, but not until the "poems of its mimes" are reconstructed in a way that will make 
comparison with Garolingian hexameters possible. 

2 Pauli et Petri carmina dubia, no. 39. 



Work such as this may be meistergesang, but it cannot be denied 
that there is excellence i ad welling in it. The time was not yet ripe 
perhaps for what the next century or two were to bring: a real 
renaissance of conscious poetry written by men who were alive to 
their finger tips. And yet when the new springtime came, it was, 
so far as we may tell, only the late fruition of forces at work dur- 
ing the previous generations, for swelling lines such as the open- 
ing verses of the Planctus Karoli tell of what is coming: 

A soils ortu usque ad occidua 
Littora maris planctus pulsat pectora. 
Heu mihi misero! 

This was composed not later than the year 815 and some thirty 
years thereafter Grottschalk could swing into verse like that to a 


O quid jubes, pusiole? 
Quare mandas, filiole, 
Carmen dulce me cantare, 
Cum sim longe exul valde, 

Intra mare? 
O cur jubes canere? 

Such hints as these show an occasional tendency to depart from 
the conventional mold of classicality, but they weigh little when 
compared with the great mass of Merovingian and Carolingian 
poetry, where elegies, encomia, epithalamia, ballads of battle, 1 

1 Winterfeld creates a false impression in translating these into the Nibelungen-quaitTain 
and in adopting also the phrases of the B&nkels&nger ; we have bat to compare his verses 
with the original, to see how he reads in what does not exist: 

Omnea gentes qui fecisti, tu Christe, dei sobules, 
Terras, fontes, rivqs, montes et formasti hominem, 
Avaresque convertisti ultimis temporibus. 

Thus begins the story of Pippin's victory over the Avari, and not as we should believe from 

Winterfeld : 

Christe, du Sohn Gottes, der du die VOlker all' 
Erschaffen und Land und Ouellen, Bach und Berge zumal, 
Der du nach deinem Bilde den Menschen hast gemacht, 
Du hast in der letzten Frist auch die Hunnen heimgebracht. 

Likewise in the ballad of Fontenoy : 

Aurora cum primo mane tetram noctetn dividens, 
Sabbatum non illud f uit, sed Saturni do! him ; 
Be fraterna rupta pace gaudet daemon impius, 

we discover but slight indication of the following : 

Des Frnhrots erster Strahl das Dunkel der Nacht zerriss ; 
Da wurde Macht gegeben dem Fursten der Finsternis, 
Kein Sabbat war's, der graute : gebrochen der Brttder Bund, 
Mit wildem Hohngelachter frohlockte der Hdlle Schlund. 

Much depends on the translator's whim in such matters ; if he translates in the manner of 
Genesis, the result reminds of Genesis, if he adopt Horatian diction we are reminded of 



and even invitations to love and to wine are complacently measured 
off at about two ells to the line. 

And yet, if there were no further evidence at hand of the Mero- 
vingian and Carolingian poetry than what is to be found in the 
volumes of the Poetae aevi Karolini 1 we could still be prepared 
for an efflorescence of lyrical poetry some two or three centuries 
later. For, if we but remove the theological allusions of the 
earlier poems and substitute for them the color and joy of life 
which the new humanism brought in its wake ; if we but exchange 
for copied hexameters a cadenced swing and rhyme, lyrical pieces 
are won for us. Majesty, smoothness, and the full vocabulary of 
poetic diction were already at hand for mediaeval Latin students 
and poets, and they made good use of their opportunity. 

But, happily, another sort of poem was handed down to the 
goliards songs from a minstrelsy as brimful of verve and light- 
ness as any to which they attained. Samples (all too few!) of this 
sort of thing have come down to us. There is the atrabilious 
correspondence between two Merovingian bishops, Importunus of 
Paris and Chrodebert of Tours (ca. A. D. 665) , written in a rhythmic 
prose that is curiously effective: five letters in all, of which the 
following may yield an illustration: 

Nay, as true as you're a goat, 
A deal too far you're going; 
The measure as it is 

Horace ; and naturally if he introduce the terms of mediaeval minstrelsy, we are ready to 
swear the thing was written by a mime. But after Winterfeld is done and finished, the ori. 
ginals are what they were before he ever began : awkward long lines after the fashion of 
their time. 

i It is a shock to learn that we may be called upon to sacrifice the priceless reference to 
love-songs contained in the Carolingian capitulary of 789 (cf. Boretius, Capit. reg. Franc., 
1,63: "et nullatenus ibi winileodos scribere vel mittere praesumant: et de pallore earum 
propter sanguinis minuationem"). Till now this passage has been generally believed to 
forbid certain nuns to write love-songs and to achieve an interesting but dangerous pallor. 
Some critics, it is true, insisted on interpreting winileodos as songs of joy and acclaim, or 
even as choral songs of labor (Uhl, Zeitschr. f. deut. Phil., Vol. XXXVIII [1906], p. 123), but 
most of us felt constrained to regard them as erotic verses because of the context in which 
we found them. 

Recently, however, Jostes has translated the Latin phrase above-quoted: "And under 
no consideration shall they make bold to enlist or dispatch constables (Schutzmannen), 
not even because of their fear: (this we decree) that bloodshed may be lessened." Cf. 
Zeitschr. f. deut. Alt., Vol. XLIX (1907) , p. 310. While it cannot be said that Jostes effectually 
establishes his point, he supports it with good evidence, and thereby furnishes renewed 
testimony to the difficulty of definitely gaining the sense of Merovingian Latin. 



Runs full to overflowing. 
You need emasculation 
I'm frank enough to tell 
To keep the living soul of you 
From roasting down in hell. 
Ah, at the day of Judgment 
You will be in evil case! 
For lechers are afraid to look 
Upon God's holy face. 1 

And we have the hint of a mocking distich or song in the quip of 
an eighth -century minstrel related to us by the Monk of St. Grail 
(de rebus gestis Karoli magni I, 13; Monumenta Germaniae 
historica; Scriptores, Vol. II, p. 736) : Nunc habet Uodalricus 
honor es perditos in orients et occidente, defuncta sua sorore! 

Less than a century later we learn of how a song made mock 
of Hug timidus : qui erat timidus super omnes homines. Sic enim 
cecinerunt ei domestici sui, ut aliquando pedem foris sepe ponere 
ausus non fuisset. This poor count is historically documented, 
having died (of fright?) at Tours in the year 837. 2 

Of milder tone, but bubbling with cynical humor, are the tales 
of the abbot of Anjou, and of the hermit who wished to be an 

In Angers, it is said, there dwells a priest; 
The name he bears is that of Father Adam. 
There's no Angevin man among them all 

1 A translation offered only after much hesitation, because of difficulty in approximating 
the tone of the original : 

Bonus nunquam eris, 

Dum tale via tenes. 

Per tua cauta longa, 

Satis est vel non est? 

Per omnia jube te castrare, 

Ut non peccas per tails, 

Quia fornicatoris Dens indicabit, etc. 

Cf. de Rozieres, Recueil general des formules usitees dans Vempire des Francs avant le x. 
siecle ; Boucherie, Cinq formules rhythmics (1867) , p. 26 ; Revue critique (1867) , p. 344 ; Zeumer, 
Formulae Merovingici et Karolini aevi (1886), p. 220; Grober, Orundriss, Vol. II, p. 453; 
Herrigs Archiv, Vol. CXIV (1905), pp. 60 f . ; Winterfeld, " Die Dichterschule St. Gallons," 
Ubergs Neue Jahrb., Vol. V, p. 358. 

2 Cf . Lachmann, Kleinere Schriften, Vol. I, p. 453 ; Pauls Grundriss, Vol. II 2 , p. 69 ; Kogel, 
Gesch. d. deut. Lit., Vol. I, Part 1, pp. 55-77. And did not Notker Labeo cry out : In me psal. 
lebant qui bibebant vinum? Other mocking songs of this time are mentioned in Modern 
Philology, Vol. Ill, p. 437. 



With half his kidney, when it comes to bibbing. 
Hurrah, hurrah! The praise we sing, 
The praise we sing of Bacchus. 1 

So drank a churchman in the age of Charles the Great and the 
swing of the song reminds us of a later kommerslied which cele- 
brates the stout-hearted tippling of Johannes de Foucris: 

Propter nimium Est Est 
Dominus meus mortuus est. 

And at the close of the tenth century a French minstrel immor- 
talized a little monk in a ditty: 

A monk named John, of stature small, 
But in the virtues straight and tall, 
Thus to the older brother spoke, 
Who dwelt with him mid hermit-folk : 2 

" I fain would live like those above," 
He said, "secure in Heaven's love 
No raiment wear, nor viands take, 
Such as the hands of men do make." 

But alack! The grass of the fields was but an ill lining for his 
paunch, and the frost was not tempered for his nakedness; so 
came it that he repented him of his desire, ran straightway home, 
and was content ever afterward to be but a good little hermit. 

Another type of song, however, than the humorous and rollick- 
ing ballad, or the mournful plaint (like the verna feminae suspi- 
ria) , we find at the very end of the tenth or the beginning of the 
eleventh century in the spring song: short invocations to the 

iCf. Dftmmler, Zeitschr. f. deut. Alt., Vol. XXIII, pp. 262, 265; Winterfeld, Herrigs 
Archiv, Vol. CXIV (1905), pp. 58 f. 

Andecavis abas esse dicitur, 
Ille nomen primum tenet hominum ; 
Hunc fatentar vinum vellet bibere 
Super omnes Andechavis homines. 

Eia, eia. eia laudes, 

Eia laudes dicamus Libero. 

Cf. Jaff6, Zeitschr. f. deut. Alt., Vol. XIV, p. 469; Piper, Deut. Nat.-Lit., Vol. CCXXI, 
pp. 232 f . ; Winterfeld, Stilfragen, p. 21 : 

Johannes abba, parvtdns 
Statura, non virtutibus, 
Ita major! socio, 
Quicum erat in heremo : 

Volo, dicebat, vivere 
Secure sicut angelus, 
Nee veste, nee cibo frui, 
Qui laboretur manibus. 



warmth and beauty of it, generally without parallelism. Such are 
the songs published by Werner, 1 one of which will suffice: 

Hyemale Terra floret 

Tempus vale, Sicut solet, 

Aestas redit cum laeticia Revirescunt lilia ; 
Cum calore, Rosae flores 

Cum decore Dant odores, 

Quae aestatis sunt indicia. Canunt alatilia. 

Slight in structure, commonplace enough in idea, if you will; and 
yet as simple in the presentation of its theme as any German folk- 
song may be. Hushed are the flowing nature-descriptions 
borrowed from Vergil, softened are the too vivid colors of Pru- 
dentius; there remains the slender, almost lean, grace that we 
associate with earliest German minnesang. 

And still let us pause to consider two other types of song, for 
this is necessary if we will give an adequate idea of the complexity 
of form existant in the Latin lyric before the twelfth century. 
One is the earliest known tagelied or aube from the early tenth 
century : a song of three stanzas in Latin with a Provencal refrain. 
What scope for speculation does this not offer! It has been 
determined by critics to be of a decidedly clerical character, 
though why I know not, save for a chance resemblance of part of 
one line to a phrase in Ambrose's Morning Hymn. Even if the 
reader after viewing the poem believe it to be ecclesiastic in cast, 
what matters it? The refrain is undoubtedly taken from popular 
song, and it is as reasonable to believe the rest a clerical verse 
modeled on a pre-existent vernacular model, 2 as to think the type 
of aube, or lovers' waking-song, so widely disseminated in mediae- 
val Europe to have grown from a monkish root. 3 

1 Cf. Germania, Vol. XXXVII (1892), p. 230. Traube called attention to the prior publi- 
cation of De terrae gremio in the Ijibl, de I' cole des Chartes, Vol. XLVII, p. 89, and hinted 
the like in the case of Hyemale tempus vale (cf. VollmGllers Jahresbericht, Vol. Ill [1895], 
p. 9). I have been as yet unable to verify the latter statement. 

2 Of. De Gruyter Das deutsche Tagelied (1887), pp. 127 ff.; Schlager, Studien uber das 
Tagelied (1895) ; K. M. Meyer posits a double basis for the tagelied, clerical and popular, 
without assigning priority to either, Zeitschr.f. deut. Alt., Vol. XLIX (1907), p. 386. 

3 Cf. Julian Schmidt, Zeitschr.f. deut. Phil., Vol. XII, pp. 333 ff.; Laistner, Germania, 
Vol. XXVI, pp. 415 ff; Ebert, Gesch. d. Lit. d. Mittelalters im Abendlande, Vol. Ill, pp. 182 f. ; 
GrOber, Grundriss, Vol. II, p. 181 ; Rajna, Studi di filologia romanza, Vol. II, p. 97 ; Monaci, 
Rendiconti dell 'Accademia dei Lincei, Cl. di scienze, 5th ser., Vol. I, pp. 475, 785; Zeitschr. 
f. roman. Phil., Vol. IX, p. 407; Jeanroy, Origines, p. 73. 



While Phoebus' clear radiance is not yet arisen, 
The dawn brings soft light to the lands; 
The watchman calls to the slothful: Awake! 

Day is approaching across the moist sea; 

As it is lifted higher and draws near, 

Straightway the shadows flee. 1 

Lo, the legions of the enemy burn 
To overtake the unwary and the slumbering! 
The herald warns them and bids them arise ! 
Day is approaching, etc. 

From Arcturus departs the north- wind, 
The stars of the sky hide their radiance, 
The great bear stretches toward the east. 
Day is approaching, etc. 

Whatever this very song may be, it still shows the existence at 
about the year 900 of what we should otherwise not know to exist 
for another century or two: popular songs having to do with the 
waking of lovers from their slumbering danger. 

And still, but for the exigency of our space, we are not nearly 
through with the listing of profane Latin lyrical remnants which 
attest the presence before the twelfth century of musical and 
tender poems and songs in France and Germany. But I may 
now perhaps believe my purpose fulfilled and leave further dis- 
cussion on this point to another opportunity, 2 except for one 

i The Provencal refrain is 

L'alba part umet mar atras ; 
Sol poi i pas, 

Ab egal n'irant las tenebras ; 
or, as Jeanroy suggests, 

L'alba par umet mar atra sol 
Poy pas abigil miraclar tenebras. 

Monaci believes the refrain not Provencal but Ladin, and the poem composed in Upper Tyrol. 

21 would again refer the reader to the article on the origins of minnesang, which contains 
many hints I have not repeated. At the end of the first millennium of our era we meet with a 
Latin poetry that answers adequately every need of story-telling and narrative, jest and 
farce, anecdote and fairy-tale, animal fable, political satire and ironic depiction, heroic 
legend and hagiography. The mere citation of such titles as the Lombard Minstrel, the 
Minstrel's Reward, the Daughter of Desiderius, Adalgin, the Iron Charles, recalls to us histo- 
rical songs of presumably high merit; and such remembered poems as Modus florum, Modus 
Liebinc, Lantfrid et Cobbo, Alfrad, Heriger, the Daughter of Proterius, Unibos, etc., suffi- 
ciently inform us that Scherer and Kogel are right in demanding for this time a high devel- 
opment in poetical ability. I would by no means reason that these were in any narrow sense 
based upon lyric song for they are without exception ballads, satirical narratives, and 
jesting tales. But I would return to the query of Mullenhoff printed above and ask : If we 



A last contribution from our stock will be the song to a run- 
away boy by a tenth-century Veronese schoolmaster. I wish to 
present an English rendering of it based upon the restoration 
of Traube 1 because such a one has not yet been published, so 
far as I know, and there are certain difficulties in translation. It 
is the first mediaeval example of any worth of the pederastic verse 
so popular in the Middle Ages: 

admirable image of Venus, 2 

Whose body is all without blemish, 

That god protect thee, who stars and sky 

Created, who founded sea and earth. 

Not through the wile of the thief 3 shalt thou suffer treachery; 

May Clotho love thee, who spins out the thread. 

Preserve the boy, I pray not in jest 

To Lachesis, but with my whole heart, 

To the sister of Atropos, lest she abandon thee. 

May'st thou have as guides Neptune and Thetis 

have examples galore of such art, how then should wide expression for the mightiest and 
most poetic impulse of all the erotic lyric have failed? 

And before we close our search for idyllic and tender passages of a lyric sort we must 
needs hunt through the Ruodlieb, the Waltharilied, and longer narrative poems, to excerpt 
here and there verses that answer our every purpose in this matter. Besides which, sacred 
poetry and hymns would be made to yield their quota, for the most superficial search 
among the many volumes of the Analecta hymnica reveals how rich and suggestive some 
of this material is in the light that it throws by analogy, and at times directly, upon the 
profane Latin lyric. 

1 Cf. O Roma nobilis (1891), p. 11. This poem is introduced because it marks a distinctive 
type and will be referred to in a succeeding chapter. There are two methods employed by 
investigators of the mediaeval Latin poetry that offends modern convention. One is that 
of Wattenbach, which publishes everything it discovers to be of value ; the other is that of 
Haureau, which balks at making known uncomfortable material. Of the two methods the 
former is alone tenable if research is to be helpfully carried on. 

2 O admirabile Veneris idolum, 
Cujus materiae nihil est frivolum, 
Archos te protegat, qui Stellas et polum 
Fpcit et maria condidit et solum. 
Furis ingenio non sentias dolum ; 
Clotho te diligat, quae bajulat colum. 

Salvato puerum non per hypothesim: 
Sed firmo pectore depr'-cor Lachesim, 
Sororem Atropos, ne curet haeresim. 
Neptunum comitem habeas ft Thetim, 
Cum vectus fueris per flumen Athesim 
, Quo fugis amabo, cum te dilexerim? 

Miser quid faciam, cum te non viderim? 

Dnra materies ex matris ossibus 
Creavit homines jactis lapidibus. 
Ex quibus unus est ute puerulus, 

8ui lacrimabiles non curat gemitus. 
um tnstis fuero, gaudebit aemulus : 
Ut cerva rugio, cum fugit hinnulus. 

31. e., Death. 



When thou farest across the river Adige. 
Why dost thou flee, pray, when I love thee? 
Unhappy, what shall I do when I see thee not ? 

Hard material from the mother's bones 

Created men, when the stones were thrown. 1 

And from one of those stones must that boy spring 

Who is not troubled by tearful complainings. 

When I am sad my rival will rejoice. 

I cry out like the hind whose young flee from her. 


The tedium of the preceding chapter may now be justified, 
for it has yielded us at least four distinct categories of Latin 
lyrical poetry before the twelfth century. 

1. Antique meters definitely modeled on classical Latin forms. 
Such is a large part of the material which Dummler, Traube, and 
Winterfeld have presented to us in the Poetae aevi Karolini. 
These meters continued from the time of the Carolingian revival 
down through the thirteenth century and frequently as they 
violate prosodic rules, much as they introduce themes foreign to 
classical traditions, their original source is evident: the poets of 
the Augustan age and of Silver Latinity. These lines often 
remind more of Strawberry Hill than they do of Rome leonini, 
caudati, unisoni but they come to express with strange ade- 
quacy many sides of the mediaeval spirit: joyous and tearful, 
cynical and maudlin. The archpoet begs for dinner and a coat 
in hexameters, and Hugo of Orleans turns them to his hand in the 
trilogy that depicts the faithlessness of the courtesan Flora. 2 

2. Liturgical poems in vented for the service of the church. These 
rhyming structures were "voluminous systems of recurrent double 
rhymes, intricate rhythms molded upon tunes for chanting, solid 
melodic fabrics." 3 Dreves has made this material conveniently 
accessible in many of the volumes of the Analecta hymnica medii 
aevi. Such poems were soon adapted to profaner use by minstrel 
and goliard and a surprising lightness sometimes characterizes 

1 Refers to the Greek deluge-legend of Deucalion and Pyrrha. 

2 Cf . Oxf order Oedichte des Primas, Nos. vi, vii, viii. 

3 Of. Symonds, Wine, Women, and Song (1884), p. 18; Saintsbury, The Flourishing of 
Romance (1897), p. 6. 



jocose narrative ballads and spirited lyrics which are evidently 
clothed in this originally ecclesiastical form. But, after all, 
satire and parody were the chief gainers thereby. The rather 
ponderous movement of these church rhythms lent effectiveness 
and weight to the former, and inimitable background to the 

3. Lyric survivals. Occasionally songs "whispering of pagan 
gods in exile, encouraging men to accept their life with genial 
enjoyment" meet our gaze during the early mediaeval period. 
Such verse are the Jam, dulcis arnica, venito and the O admirabile 
Veneris idolum: these are the vicarious offspring of individual 
learning, bear on them frequently the hallmark of no particular 
age, 1 and have no breath of popular poetry within them. We are 
not surprised to find them in Octavian's anthologia Latina or 
among the Cambridge songs pieces of similiar import and like 
beauty must have been contemporary with the pervigilium Veneris 
and must have continued the classical tradition down into the 
fifteenth century. This tradition was tenacious of life and pre- 
sumably never quite interrupted in any century, particularly in 
Italy, for Rome continued to be felt the head of the world (caput 
mundi} 2 throughout the Middle Ages. A curious illustration of 
how widespread the remains of ancient knowledge were occurs in a 
poem of the popular sort sung on the walls of Modena in the first 
half of the ninth century by the soldiers of the watch : 

O tu, qui servas armis ista moenia, 

Noli dormire, moneo, sed vigila: 

Dum Haector vigil extitit in Troja, 

Non earn cepit fraudulenta Gretia. 

Prima quiete dormiente Troja 

Laxavit Synon fallax claustra perfida 

i It is interesting in such connection to follow the discussion of the dates of Lydia bella 
and O admirabile from the year 1829, when Naeke first discovered the former, to 1891, when 
Traube with seeming finality settled the age of the latter. Niebuhr, Gregorovius, Ozanam, 
Daniel, Riese, Baini, and Brambach arrived at widely diversified conclusions because of 
the apparent absence in this poem of any specific allusion. Cf. Traube, O Roma nobilis 
(1891), pp. 3 ff. 

2Cf. Gregorovius, Geschichte der Siadt Rom im Mittelalter; Graf, Roma nella memoria 
del media evo (1882); Tranbe, O Roma nobilis; Salvioli, L'istruzione pubblica in Italia nei 
secoli viii, ix e x (1879) ; Dresdner, Kultur-und Sittengeschichte der italienischen Geittlichkeit 
im x. und xi. Jahrhundert (1890), etc. 



4. Popularizing Latin lyrics. We have already noted how 
an eighth century minstrel sang his mocking rhyme; 

Nti habSt Uodalrih 
firloran 6rono gilih, 
Cstar enti uuestar, 
sld irstarp sin suester. 

This tells us again what we already know so well from a multi- 
plicity of records: 1 that jesters and minstrels were making verses 
for the willing ears of courtiers and churchmen like Angilbert at 
the very moment that serious-minded churchmen and school-poets 
were engaged in polishing their hexameters. Such testimony, 
together with stray kommerslieder and ballads from ninth, tenth, 
and eleventh centuries, should suffice to inform us that at this 
season the buds of earthly lyric were bursting into bloom ; inform 
us that the tenth century was not exactly "the age of gloom, the 
age of iron, the age of lead," when the human intellect in Europe 
reached its nadir. 2 This time did open inauspiciously with great 
political disturbances and social readjustments ; it ended in a sort 
of general panic because all the pursuits of life were stopped in 
apprehension of the judgment day. But we may no more read 
of this in our lyric records than we may suspect the cataclysm of 
the western empire from the gentle euphuism of Sidonius, 3 whose 
great complaint was that he "could not achieve six-foot lines 
when seven-foot barbarians were about him." 

But there is another sort of popularizing Latin lyric suggested 
by the Hyemale tempus vale and the Equitabat Bovo per silvam 
frondosam: simplest songs of spring and dancing, maying and 
mating couplets. By no known process of alchemy can we distil 
these from any of the first three categories of Latin lyric above 
mentioned; their source is in volkslied quatrains, such as have 
been proved to exist long before earliest minnesang* German 
dance-songs and choral singing must have ever existed in connec- 

iCf. the collocation in Reich, Der Mimus, Vol. I (1903). Pt. 2, pp. 743 ff. 

%Saeculum ferreum, plumbeum, obscurum : Sandys, A History of Classical Scholarship 
(1903), p. 483. 

3 Cf. Dill, Roman Society in the Last Century of the Christian Empire (1899) 2, p. 190. 
*Cf. R. M. Meyer, Zeitschr.f. deut. Alt., Vol. XXIX, pp. 174 ff. 



tion with the games and festivals of May. 1 Examples of such 
songs we find in the Carmina burana: 

Swaz hie gat umbe 

Daz sint allez megede, 

Die wellent an man 

Alle disen sumer gan. no. 129a; 

Springewir den reigen 

Nu, vrowe min, 

Vroun uns gegen den meigen, 

Uns chumet sin schin. no. lOOa; 

Chume, chume geselle min, 

Ich enbite harte din, 

Suzer roservarwer munt, 

Chum un mache mich gesunt. no. 136a. 

And such traditional verses now and then shine through the Latin 
lyrics which we find in the same collection: 

Et sub tilia 
Ad choreas venereas 
Salit mater, inter eas 
Sua filia. no. 114; 

Late pandit tilia 
Frondes, ramos, folia, 
Thymus est sub ea 
Viridi cum gramine, 
In quo fit chorea, no. 108 ; 

Stetit puella ruf a tunica ; 

Siquis earn tetigit, 

Tunica crepuit. Eia! no. 138; 

Veni, veni, venias, 
Ne me mori facias; 
Hyrca, hyrce, nazaza, 
Trillirivos! no. 136. 

Crepuscular stirrings are these songs of Latin lyrics and love- 
ballads which were in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries to 

1 It is in these May fetes that Gaston Paris would have us seek the origin of much of 
mediaeval lyric poetry; Journal des Savants (1892), p . 427. This theory is partially 
developed in Cesareo, Le origini delta poesia lirica in Italia (1899), and given full credence by 
Santangelo (op. cit., pp. 43 S. ) after a careful examination of the spring songs of the Carmina 
burana. But surely we do not need to connect these festivals with those of pagan antiquity 
held in honor of Venus, as Santangelo suggests our doing. 



develop a hardier and more complex growth. The minstrel, as 
early as the eleventh century, and probably long before that, had 
gone for some of his most effective material where Goethe and 
the Romanticists went in a later age, to the inexhaustible well of 
popular song, there to draw new lyrics of his own. When and 
where this folkpoetry became first courfdhig we do not know. 
The character of the audience the minstrel sang his songs to can' 
only be surmised; like the peasant verses of Neidhart, they may 
have joyed the lowest or the highest in rank, and it is not yet 
safe to more than hazard a guess. But one thing is sure: side 
by side with antique meters and liturgical poems, in no sense 
derived from these or from certain other lyrical pieces which 
continued classical lyric traditions, there was for long before the 
twelfth century a popularizing and lyric Latin spielmannspoesie 
which mirrored the simpler sort of German popular poetry and 
derived much of its strength and beauty from it. 

And because of this long preamble we may now proceed with 
an easier conscience if not with a lighter heart to the second 
part of our study. This will attempt a differentiation between, 
on the one hand, highly artificial and, as it were, professional 
goliard songs and, on the other hand, real Latin minnesang. 

It may be that some, even much, of the foregoing article might 
have been omitted on the assumption that it repeated certain 
things already sufficiently known. But where the material is so 
vast as that of early mediaeval Latin poetry, where doctors (of 
philosophy) so carefully disagree as to all the main symptoms of 
it, where the vehicle in which many of the songs are written still 
unhappily remains so difficult a thing for us to read ; I have been 
afraid not to go deeper into the foundations than I should have 
otherwise thought of doing. It is just because "erudition" has 
hitherto played so large a part in the criticism of mediaeval songs, 
because the layman has not more easily commanded them, that 
'misunderstandings regarding their nature and their scope have 
been so long current. 






A fundamental principle which underlies my treatment of 
mediaeval Latin poetry is that the material should be divided and 
classified according to the spirit of its content and not according 
to the manner of its external form. I have been so constantly 
occupied with this idea that I failed to notice, until my attention 
was recently directed to the omission by Mr. E. K. Rand, that 
nowhere have I characterized sharply the current practice which 
makes the whole corpus of mediaeval Latin lyrics owe its very 
existence to a progressive amplification of rhythms evolved in 
connection with ninth- and tenth-century sequences. I hasten to 
correct this fault and for the sake of convenience begin with two 
sentences of Wilhelm Meyer's coining which bid fair to carry 
desolation in their wake: 

In Deutschland wie in Frankreich entwickelte zuerst die durch die 
Sequenzendichtung veranlasste lyrische Dichtung in lateinischer Sprache 
sich zu bedeutender Bliite, dann erst begann die Dichtung in franzdsi- 
scher und in deutscher Sprache sich fihnlicher Formen zu bedienen. 
Gaston Paris .... nennt diese Herrschaft der lateinischen Dichtung 
'funeste;' allein wer kann sagen, ob und wie die franzOsische oder die 
deutsche Dichtung sich entwickelt hatten, wenn sie das lateinische Vor- 
bild nicht gehabt hatten? 1 

I shall not occupy myself with the question, how mediaeval 
vernacular poetry would have developed if it had not possessed 
the Latin model. For it did have this model, it did use it, and 
no finite mind may determine just what would have happened if 
the opposite had been true. The other query, would mediaeval 
vernacular poetry have developed if the Latin model had not pre- 
ceded it, seems to me equally futile. I will say, however, that it 
is an egregious claim to make, even by implication, for Latin 

1 Cf. Fragmenta burana, p. 183. 
3] 55 [ MODEEN PHILOLOGY, July, 1908 


poetry that except for it French and German lyric expression 
would have come to a standstill. 

But a phrase in Meyer's first sentence not only merits, it 
demands investigation: "lyric poetry in Latin caused by the 
writing of sequences." This is no chance remark of Meyer's 
torn from its context for convenient dissection. The statement 
is made at the close of his well-known article on the rise of 
mediaeval poetry which accompanies the Fragmenta burana. 1 
Herein he has portrayed for us the transition from old poetry to 
new: he tells us the worn story of how about the year 860 a 
monk came from Jumieges to St. Gall with an antiphonary; how 
his German brethren thus learned to substitute for the vowel a in 
the alleluia-melodies independent texts; how Notker outstripped 
all other men in the writing of beautiful sequences; how such 
creations became popular and strongly developed the personality 
of poets, giving to their work a new content; lastly, how the com- 
position of sequences freed popular poetry from the classical 
straitjacket and the sorry rhythmic dress of the Carolingian age, 
led it back to the well-spring of all poetic beauty, to music, and 
thus made possible an unhampered and natural evolution of 
mediaeval poetry ab ovo, not Latin poetry alone, but French and 
German poetry as well. 

Winterfeld believed that Meyer inverted the picture ; that the 
sequence did not make use of secular materials, but that the secu- 
lar poet, with sure instinct for what was lifegiving and enduring 
in conventional poetry, took possession of the sequence-forms 
which the church poets had created. 2 I believe this, and I am 
likewise sure that sequences did not bring about lyric poetry, but 
that lyric poets developed the sequence. This is, as Winterfeld 
suggests, no mere battle of words: it concerns vitally our entire 
conception of the coming-to-be of mediaeval vernacular poetry. 

Meyer's contention is that the sequence, a purely practical 
device which substituted separate syllables for a single vowel, was 
the bio-germ of mediaeval lyric efflorescence : "plotzlich h6rte 

1 " Wie entstand die Blate der mittelalterlichen Dichtungsformen," Fragmenta burana, 
pp. 166 S. Cf . also the other two studies on Latin rhythmic poetry, Gesammelte Abhand- 
lungen, Vol. I, pp. 136 ff., Vol. II, pp. Iff. 

2 Hemgs Archiv, Vol. CXIV, p. 73. 



man statt 100 'la' einen schonen Lobgesang." Even if we wish 
to accept this view, that from a mnemonic system of notation 
there sprang the beauty of European lyric verse, we can certainly 
not believe this evolution a mechanical one; the miracle was 
effected by the genial efforts of a multitude of poets. And their 
personality was not developed by the sequence, as Meyer says, 
but their personality gave the sequence-form its material power, 
its life. And the sequence did not give the work of poets new 
content, as Meyer says, but the labor of these poets furnished the 
sequence with themes, motifs, and new content of every sort. 
For the form of poetry does not create the spirit of it ; the letter 
of a poem does not beget the meaning of it. 

At the risk of seeming trite, I must continue for a moment to 
say perfectly obvious things. It has been an undesirable result 
of certain investigations into mediaeval meters and rhythms that 
we have come to regard the outer garment of a Latin poem as its 
chief distinguishing factor. We realize that we should not do this, 
but we do it just the same. It is no accident of exterior garb 
which makes or unmakes for us the poems of Dante, Shakespeare 
or Goethe; not terza rima, blank verse, or kniittelvers, but the 
spirit and content of their thought. Why should it be different 
with the Latin poets of the Middle Ages,? 

This does not mean, of course, that it is not important for us 
to miss no word of the penetrating studies in which Wilhelm 
Meyer seeks and masters the secret of many mediaeval Latin 
poetic forms; he teaches us rightly that here and not "with 
Bartsch in the forests of the old Celts and Germans" are we to 
find certain of the formulae which Provencal, French, and Ger- 
man epic and lyric used at a later time, less widely, and with less 
artistic effectiveness. 1 How these forms grew in complexity and 
effectiveness Meyer shows us, until all the varied store was there 
which the mediaeval Latin lyric used, oftentimes with such seem- 
ing ease. 

But never once was it the form of Latin rhythmic diction 
which was responsible for the full sheaves of story, drama, or 
lyric. It was the German spirit of artists like Notker and Ros- 

1 Cf. Fragmenta burana, p. 170. 



witha and Ekkehard and the author of Ruodlieb which dominated 
the imperfect Latin diction of their age and created a renaissance 
despite it, just as surely as it was a similar German spirit two 
centuries later that made use of a wealth of musical rhythms to 
set its sentimental lyric singing in, or to set into its dramas. 

Throughout the foregoing study I have done what I could to 
separate different types of song. This can be done but rarely, 
and then with much hazard, from the standpoint of external form. 
If we judge by form alone, many of the examples I have already 
had occasion to cite, would be demonstrably of learned and cleri- 
cal origin. For music and culture and the ability to find expres- 
sion for mother-wit in poetic speech were for centuries so far as 
we know indissolubly connected with the cloister and the school, 
and without these institutions none knows what rhythms we might 
have possessed. It is Wilhelm Meyer's question over again: 
What would have happened, if things had happened differently? 

As an illustration let us take the Levis exsurgit zephyrus 
quoted in full above. The spirit of this poem is "popular," by 
which I mean at this point unlearned, not resting upon classical 
or clerical tradition, the picture of real experience, told in terms 
of such simple nature-parallelism as folk-song uses. But how 
about the form of it? Did the author invent the meter, or did it 
derive directly from a church hymn? Presumably the latter, I 
should say. But even then we are little wiser than before. We do 
not know that cloister music did not as frequently refresh itself at 
the fountain-head of popular melody (volksweise) 1 as cloister 
poetry found similar renewal in popular poetry. We only know that 
such music has not descended to us from a certain time except in 
clerical redaction. Again, cloister music might well have made 

1 Church hymns and pious songs have been set to the music and the meters of profane 
and popular poetry ever since St. Jerome lived at Bethlehem, at least. From that day to this 
we have hundreds of recorded instances in which a popular metrical form or a secular tune 
has furnished the model for ecclesiastical song. Almost every renaissance of clerical poetry 
has derived a notable part of its inspiration and its strength from secular music. When we 
know that My Jesus, as Thou wilt is sung to the aria from Der Freischiltz, or that Guide me, 
O Thou great Jehovah is fitted to the waltz-song from Martha, and remember that such has 
been the case among different peoples at many various times, why should we believe other- 
wise regarding tenth-century melodies? I do not think a bibliography at this juncture 
designed to show the occasional priority of popular musical forms would have any particu- 
lar point as it would necessarily concern itself chiefly with other periods than the one we 
are considering and could therefore prove nothing circumstantially. 


popular texts too difficult for general singing, just as music of a 
more popular sort has often given wide currency to a text which 
otherwise would have found small acceptance. Music has ever 
acted either as hindrance or solvent. Again, if we eliminate from 
this minstrel's song the unknown element of music, and deal with 
the cadence of the lines themselves, we are not sure how these 
should be enunciated. My own guess would be a measure of four 
stresses, not unlike that which Hildebrand so conveniently dis- 
covered could be imposed on most Germanic lyric verses. But 
this is a guess, and those may arise who find in this simple song 
deliberate if unsuccessful trial of quantitative stanzas. 

As a matter of fact, who "invents" meters? Many poets first 
and last, no doubt, just as many composers invent musical settings 
for moods and words. But in the case of any one humble poet it 
is difficult to decide what is the source of a particular rhythmic 
expression ; and the last to know the truth would often be the poet 
himself. Even if the Levis exsurgit be identical in structure with 
a hundred hymns of the time, we should not need to believe it 
secondary or imitative. We could not rightly say that "the 
church hymn had at the close of the tenth century won over pro- 
fane song." We could merely state that certain rhythms of 
unknown origin were considered during this age so attractive and 
adequate that they clothed themes of both sacred and secular intent. 
Simple rhythms of whatever origin must be possessed of dormant 
popularity; if we learn through MSS that they were widely dis- 
seminated, then we know this popularity was actually achieved; 
otherwise, because of the lack of ocular evidence, we are forced to 
suspend judgment. 

I wonder if it will be felt that the further classification of the 
mediaeval Latin lyric which I attempt in the following pages is 
vexatious. Such febrile insistence is sometimes made on appar- 
ently unessential facts that the lay-reader cannot be blamed for 
his suspicion that microscopic analysis of literary forms is alto- 
gether unnecessary. Were Lowell alive today he might well write 
an essay for which the world is waiting: "On a certain habit of 
hair-splitting prevalent in higher schools." 

Still, difficult as it is to be sane and moderate in one's classifi- 



cation, it is many times as hard not to classify. Skeptical 
though I am of the justice of many, nay, of most, of Jeanroy's 
divisions of the mediaeval French lyric, 1 it is by reason of them 
and of the appreciative comment necessary to uphold them that 
we have the best book yet written on an important subject. On 
the other hand, Ronca's essay on the mediaeval Latin lyric, 2 
equipped though it is with all the apparatus of scholarship, miscar- 
ries just because it fails to distinguish clearly the various kinds 
of poetry he is treating. 

This I must pause to prove, not only because Ronca's work has 
gained among students a high and not undeserved reputation, but 
because I can thus justify the divisions set forth in the following 
pages. After much investigation of Ronca's statements I believe 
it is fair to say that every generalization he makes regarding the 
mediaeval Latin lyric is blurred, since it is inapplicable to a part 
of the material he is considering. In his zeal to establish the fact 
that goliardic verse existed long before the twelfth century he 
sets aside the differences which mark off school-poems, songs of the 
wandering students, and popular balladry in Latin garb, and heaps 
them all together in a single hill. Thus in one place 3 we find the 
following odd assemblage of verses grouped as "canzoni amorose" : 
O admirabile Veneris idolum, Jam dulcis arnica venito, the one 
hundred and fifty leonine distichs from Ivrea, the Latin alba with 
Provencal refrain, the three rather stupid metrical poems published 
by Hagen, no one of which by any possible twist of the fancy may 
be denominated a song. 4 The first four of these poems I have 

1 As a pendant to this study I have already announced the essay on the Merovingian 
mime. The materials for this are now in hand, but their publication must await the appear- 
ance of Mr. Manly's third volume of the Specimens of the Pre-Shakespearian Drama ; for 
my whole idea of early minstrelsy is so colored by the basic view I have learned from him 
that without it my projected study would be lean indeed. 

The sequel to the present study, however, will be a chapter on the mediaeval French 
lyric ; and I shall not be deterred from writing this because of the prevalent notion that 
Jeanroy's Origines is definitive for this field. Jeanroy's statement of facts is not consonant 
with the situation as I am compelled to see it, and certain problems which are to me inevi- 
table he frankly avoids. I wish to invade the domain of French lyric, foreign though it is 
to the conventional routine of my academic labor, in order further to prepare the ground- 
work for a volume on the history of the mediaeval lyric in Europe. 

2" Principal! element! e caratteri della cultura e poesia latina del medio evo" (pp. 
25-202 of Eonca's Cultura medievale e poesia latina in Italia net secoli xi e xii). 

3 Op. cit., pp. 159, 160. 

*Cf. Hagen, Carmina medii aevi, pp. 190, 194, 206. Not the content alone, but the spirit 
of the content, determines the lyricality of a poem. Bonca would doubtless group with the 



treated elsewhere and may besides assume to be familiar to the 
reader. But the three from Hagen require a passing glance, that 
we may realize how unlyric their spirit is. 

The first, which Ronca terms "a love-poem of the tenth cen- 
tury" 1 is entitled Versus adjuvenemetpuellamaffectuosiusse 
invicem intuentes, and is couched in elegiac distichs. It begins: 

Occurrunt blando sibi lumina vestra favore 

Et voto arrident intima corda pari. 
Alterno facies sibi dant responsa rubore 

Et tener affectum prodit utrimque pudor. 

Where this prosaic thing originated, it is impossible to say, but 
the type is clear: it belongs to the endless array of practice-exer- 
cises that we meet with in the artes dictamini. The second piece, 
which Ronca calls "another absolutely obscene poem from the 
same codex," 2 handles an artificial situation of like sort it is a 
development of the theme of nun and clerk. Proof that the poem 
is nothing more than a dull school-task is furnished by the super- 
scription. 3 

Ronca's third citation, which he says is a "spring-poem before 
the eleventh century," 1 is the De innovatione vernali. No school 
subject received more stereotyped treatment than just this one, 
and a dozen more pleasing examples than this which Ronca sum- 
mons forth from oblivion might easily be found. I give a number 
of lines to show how bad it is: 

Quicquid hiems tamquam veteri deforme senecta 

Absque decore diu fecerat esse suo, 
Ver novat atque novo compubescentia flore 

Imperat ad teneros cuncta redire dies. 
Rupta videbantur antiqui foedera nexus 

Convulsusque odiis cedere sanctus amor. 
Visa elementorum communio sacra revelli 

Et fetus eadem velle orare suos, 

drinking-song which deals with the abbot of Angers (cf. Part I, p. 45) the twelve "carmina 
potatoria" of the tenth century printed in Poetae latini medii aevi, Vol. IV, pp. 350 ff. (cf. 
Dttmmler, Neues Archiv, Vol. X, pp. 347 ff.). But these pieces are inept and stupid in both 
manner and tone, eleven of them being but short invocations to feast-days and saints' days. 
They are thoroughly without lyric appeal and therefore beyond the pale of our discussion. 

1 Why, I do not know ; the MS in which it is found is Cod. Bern. 568 saec. XII. 

2 Why, I do not know ; the MS in which it is found is Cod. Bern. 434 saec. XV. 

3 Above the piece is written : Quedam monacha nigris vestibus induta diligens quern- 
dam clericum volens quod ageret rem cum ea : at ille nolens se consentire peccato se realiter 
hiis versibus excusavit. 



In veteremque pari conversa furore tumultum 

Invisam rebus accelerate necem. 
Autumnus senior gelide post credita spectans 

Semina crediderat fenus obisse suum. 

I contend that such indiscriminate grouping of Latin verses as 
we have here found Ronca guilty of is not helpful. Nowhere in 
his long essay does Ronca trouble to separate the jewels of poetry 
from the ashes and cinders which hide them. Like Hubatsch he 
becomes involved in frequent contradiction because of failure to 
establish classes. We shall meet a like fate, unless what follows 
convinces the reader that to apprehend the real nature of Latin 
song in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries he must recognize at 
least three types: (1) nugae amatoriae; (2) goliard lyrics; 
(3) popularizing lyrics. 


If the light and popular ballads of love and springtime which 
we are now to examine owe their origin to scholastic and churchly 
tradition, then they were born in France. For in no other land 
of mediaeval Europe do we find this tradition by half so brilliant 
and strong. At no time during the ninth and tenth centuries was 
the culture inaugurated by Charles the Great entirely wanting 
here and there in Germany and France we find isolated instances 
of its survival. But still these centuries were largely a period of 
social disorganization unfavorable to consistent poetic effort, 1 and 
the new humanism of the twelfth century does not derive its 
impulse directly from them. It is rather coeval with the sudden 
rise of the schools and of scientific studies which is so marked a 
characteristic of the latter half of the eleventh century in France. 
We read the truth of this somewhat in Latin poetry. 2 

'Of. Maltre, Les f coles fpiscopales et monastiques (1866), p. 96; Milman, History of Latin 
Christianity (1867), Vol. Ill, p. 329; Mullinger, The Schools of Charles the Great (1877), pp. 
137 et al. ; History of the University of Cambridge (1873), Vol. I, pp. 45 f . ; Bartoli, / precursor* 
del rinascimento (1877), p. 18 ; Newman's essays " The Reformation of the Eleventh Century " 
(British Critic [1841], April), and "The Benedictine Centuries" (The Atlantis [1859], Jan- 
uary) ; Giesebrecht, Oeschichte d. deut. Kaiserzeit, Vol. I (1881)5, p. 329; Wattenbach, 
Deutschlands Geschichtsquellen, Vol. I (1904)7, pp. 350 S. ; Sandys, op. cit., chaps. xxv and 

a If we consider the poems, say, of Abbo of St. Germain (d. 923), Walafrid Strabo (d. 849), 
Eugenius Vulgarius (co. 928), Notker the Stammerer (d. 911), Froumund of Tegernsee (co. 
1013), Wipo (d. 1051), Hermann Contractus (d. 1054), Ekkehard IV (d. ca. 1060), we find that 
they are filled with far-fetched figures and tropes, with words that must have been intel- 
ligible to only a highly cultured audience ; at every turn they show a slavish imitation of 



A double reason accounts for the lack of clarity and naturalness 
in the earlier mediaeval Latin school-poems. First, there would 
be at any time before the wider dissemination of education but 
few men who could attain the stylistic ease of Gerbert of Rheims 
and Lambert of Hersfeld, to say nothing of the mastery of John 
of Salisbury and Abelard. 1 Secondly, in the ninth and tenth cen- 
turies, as in the sixth, there was an attempt to achieve a dolce stil 
nuovo; simplicity and correctness were taboo, bombast and abnor- 
mality were striven for. 2 In a phrase, we discover a wordy rhetoric 
where we had hoped for poetry. 3 

classical form and diction, or a blind adherence to other clerical models. Now it is true 
that a German spirit, a sort of inner warmth, occasionally glimmers in the Latin verses of 
Wipo and Hermann (cf. Dnmmler "Opusculum Herimanni diverso metro conpositum," 
Zeitschr.f. deut. Alt., Vol. XIII, p. 433); true that Ekkehard IV's attractive Casus 8. Oalli 
has thrown such a charm about the life of an early mediaeval monastery that scholars have 
vied with one another in portraying in living colors the inmates as gifted poets and musi- 
cians sine pan' (Schubinger, Die S&ngerschule St. Oallens [1858], Winterfeld, Ilbergs neue 
Jahrbucher, Vol. V, pp. 350 ff., likewise "Ehythmen- u. Sequenzenstudien " in Zeitschr.f. 
deut. Alt., Gautier, Lapo6sie liturgique, etc., etc.). True, of course, above all that the poet 
of Walthuriu* often discovers the popular German vein, that his namesake knows the rolks- 
lieder sung in the streets, the proverbs that fall from the lips of the laity (cf. Dnmmler, 
"Ekkehard IV von St. Gallon," Zeitschr. /. deut. Alt., Vol. XIV, pp. 8, 9). It is true that 
Froumund, although not the author of the Ruodlieb, and often limping and obscure (Seiler, 
Zeitschr.f. deut. Phil., Vol. XIV, p. 405) is yet on occasion tender, humorous, and possessed 
of an effective native coarseness (Kempf, Froumundvon Tegernsee [1900], p. 67). And so one 
might go down the roll, remembering Walafrid and Roswitha, Thietmar and Notker Not- 
ker, who, whether author of the tales of the Monk of St. Gall and all that Winterfeld " in- 
stinctively " assigns to him, or not (Wattenbach, Geschichtsschreiber d. deut. Vorzeit, Vol. 
XXVI [1890]3, Kogel, Litter aturgesch., Vol. I, Pt. 2, p. 221, Baldauf, Der Monch von 8t. Gallen 
[1903], Winterfeld, Stilfragen, p. 11, Herriga Archiv, Vol. CXIV, p. 73) is the unforgettable 
creator of the sequence, the poet who learned of the lowly minstrel as well as of the MSS of 
the cloister-school. But, important as all this and all like this is for the story of German life 
and literature, the form of these Latin school-poems is apt to be crude, unbending, artificial, 
they are the outcome of toil and not talent, they are so colorless and general (with but few 
exceptions) as to speak of no particular time or place, often they are so tortuous that we 
may not even guess as to their intent. 

iCf. Norden, Die antike Kunstprosa (1898), Vol. II, pp. 707, 750 ff.; Dentsch, Peter Aba- 
lard (1883), pp. 62 f. ; Sandys, op. cit., pp. 489, 498, 509, 517. 

2 Cf. Gautier, La posie religieuse dans les cloltres des ix-xi siecles (1887), pp. 33 ff. ; 
Droves, Analecta hymnica, Vol. VII (1889), pp. 10 ff.; Roger, L'enseignement des lettres 
classiques, pp. 238 ff. Norden (op. cit., p. 754) does not spare the so-called tropes and prosae 
of the tenth and eleventh centuries when he says: " They belong to the most hair-raising 
productions ever composed in the Latin language ; fustian and eccentricity celebrate their 
bacchanalian orgies. The one thing comparable to them are the Hisperica famina." Cf. 
Zimmer, Nennius vindicatus (1893), pp. 291 ff. ; and on the general matter of cryptic Latin 
expression, Giesebrecht, De litterarum studiis apud Italos (1845) , pp. 22 f . ; Goetz, " Uber 
Dnnkel- und Geheimsprachen," Sitzungsber. d. sacks. Gesellschaft (1896), pp. 62 ff. For a 
convenient survey of Latin literature in the tenth and eleventh centuries cf. Sandys, op. cit., 
chaps, xxvi, xxvii. 

3 Ecclesiastics and schoolmen had, of course, no such conception of the mission of 
poetry as prevailed in a later age. Verses and letters were written to gain fluency of 
expression in the Latin tongue, to inculcate grammatical principles, to acquire an epistolary 



But when the new time appears a comparative freedom of 
movement is manifest. An awakened consciousness expresses 
itself in verse which speaks of the world about it; the poet has 
ceased in some measure to be the artisan, he is more the artist. 
He is concerned with the portrayal of personal thought and experi- 
ence, his literary traditions are those of his own day, the content 
of his work is warmer and more subjective, the pressure of the age 
molds his material into new forms. An individuality confronts us, 
and not a monk. 1 

And so it is that we now meet with a more iridescent poetic 
language ; one that is still at times forced or even vitiated, but yet 
succinct and striking, one that is by turn solemn and passionate, 
simple and wanton, joyous and abandoned. 2 Poets begin to believe 

style, etc. The so-called dictamina were decked out with every sort of pompous quirl and 
flourish (cf. Zarucke, Sitzungsber. d. sacks. Gesellschaft [1871], pp. 34 ff. ; Wattenbach, Archiv 
f. osterr. Geschichte, Vol. XIV, pp. 854 ff. ; Sitzungsber. d. bayr. Akademie [1872], pp. 594 ff. ; 
Berliner Akademie [1892], pp. 91 ff.; Rockinger, Quellen u. Erorterungen, Vol. IX [1863]; 
Mari, / trattati medievali di ritmica latina 1899]; Norden, op. cit., pp953 ff.). Likewise 
Latin verse-making either had a purely practical aim or was but a sort of play in academic 
metrics. Content mattered little, formula was all. A flowery diction was attempted, verses 
were overloaded with scholastic erudition till they staggered and fell, and even in the 
slightest structures, such as epitaphs and inscriptions, we constantly meet most unlikely 
quotations from the Aeneid, the Metamorphoses, and the Ars amandi (Steinmann, Die tituli 
und die kirchliche Wandmalerei [1892] ; Dresdner, Kultur- u. Sittengesch. d. ital. Geistlich- 
keit, pp. 202 ff.). Dresdner says: "Despite the constant manufacture of verses these cen- 
turies are wretchedly poor in poetry as few others have been." For an outline sketch of 
transitional Latin poetry cf. Norden, " Die latein. Lit. im tJbergang vom Altertum zum Mit- 
telalter," Kultur der Gegenwart, Part I, division viii (1905), pp. 374-411; GrOber, Grundriss, 
Vol. II, p. 323; Wattenbach, Sitzungsber. d. Berliner Akad. (1891), p. 97; Langlois, Notices 
et extraits, Vols. XXXIV and XXXV ; Mari, Roman. Forschungen, Vol. XIII, pp. 883 ff . 

1 Cf. GrOber, Grundriss, Vol. II, p. 323. 

2 Cf. GrOber, Grundriss, p. 324. Seiler in his review of Voigt's Kleinere lateinische 
Denkmdler der Tiersage (Anzeigerf. d. Alt., Vol. V [1879], p. 102) rightly considers the animal 
tales and fables of high importance for the history of mediaeval intellectual life. He says : 
"These poems show the seeds of a thoroughly new spirit. Elsewhere in the twelfth century 
we find, it is true, enthusiastic religious ardor, the simple and credulous narrative of sacred 
story, an earnest and punitive morality ; but in our poems there is no word of all this. In 
its place there appears an insistence on the right of subjective appetites and views which is 
quite unheard of in this time : whatever is pleasing is permitted. An ironic portrayal of 
self forms the innermost kernel of these verses and despite the rhetorical art and artifice 
which fills them there sometimes peer forth from such witty and coruscating lines the wel - 
known features of Sir John Falstaff ironed into a smooth but unfelt solemnity. It is the 
same spirit which breathes yet more boldly and boisterously in the songs of the wandering 
students." Longer pieces which betray the like penchant for didactic allegory and satire 
parallel these shorter efforts: cf., for example, the sermones of Amarcius (ca. 1046), the Spe- 
culum stultorum of Nigel Wireker (ca. 1190), and the Architrenius of Jean de Hauteville 
(co. 1181) ; Francke, Amer. Jour. Phil., Vol. XI (1890). For Juvenal in the Middle Ages, cf. 
Anz.f. Kunded. d. Vorzeit (1871), p. 232: magiscreduntJuvenaliquamdoctrinaeprophetali, 
the bibliography cited by Sandys, History of Classical Scholarship (1903), pp. 619 f., and Hild, 
Bulletin mensuel de lafaculte des lettres de Poitiers (1890 f.). 



themselves the favorites of the muses; they are convinced of im- 
mortality. 1 GrOber is doubtless right in believing that this 
enlightenment first came in the northwestern provinces of France 
in the ecclesiastical domain of Tours and spread soon thereafter 
to Normandy, England, and Germany. The Provencal lyric felt 
the breath of it, and a quickened pulse beats in the work of French 
and Anglo-Norman poets like those already mentioned in an earlier 
chapter on the goliards, like Hugo of Orleans and Baudri of Bour- 
gueil, and others too numerous to mention. Suddenly the almost 
emptied lists are thronged by a newly marshaled legion of poets 
whose very number bespeaks strength. 2 

The transition from such poetry as this to twelfth -century love- 
songs of MSS like Cambridge and St. Omer, Queen Christine and 
Benedictbeuern, would now seem easy, in a sense inevitable. The 
mystery attending on the dawning of Latin minnesang, like that 
of German love-poetry some fifty years later would now appear to 
be explained away. We have but to wait a little while and this 
Franco-Latin poetry just described will have crossed the German 
borders with the student and clerk who is retracing his homeward 
steps; 3 and no German clerk of the day was considered sufficiently 
cultured without a training at the French schools. We need there- 
fore not be surprised to find this poetry a little later serving the 
uses of lighter Latin verses which are Teutonic in feeling and in 
imagery, and even pointing the way to a subsequent body of ver- 
nacular verse. And thus we might travel blithely from Abelard's 
school on Mont Ste. G6nevieve via Bavarian-Latin poets like the 
authors of certain poems in the Carmina burana straight to the 
lyrics of Walther von der Vogelweide. Why not? Literary his- 
tory has had to chronicle stranger journeys. And we might nod 
our heads in sleepy acceptance of this empfindsame reise except 
for one thing: 

1 Peter of Blois is a child of his age when he says: " Nostra etiam scripta quae ee dif- 
fundunt et publicant circumquaque, nee inundatio, uec incendium, nee ruina, nee multiplex 
saeculorum excursus poterit abolere." 

2 Confronted by these facts Gebhart (Lea origines de la renaissance de Vltalie, 1879) 
asks plaintively : " Why was Italy and not North France the cradle of the Renaissance?" 

3" Vom Rheine her," said Scherer (Gesch. d.d. Dichtung, p. vii), "wirken franzOsische 
Einfiusse auf Geistliche, Spielleute und Ritter. Sie dringen langsam die Donau hinunter : 
zuerst franzosische Theologie ; dann franzOsische Epik ; zuletzt franzOsische Lyrik." 



When we ask, with Reinmar of Brennenburg: " Wa sint nu alle 
die von minnen sungen?" the answer is: "So far as we may learn, 
no known Latin poet of the twelfth century ever wrote a love-song" 
In this matter Venantius Fortunatus and Alcuin, Walafrid Strabo 
and Paul the Deacon, .ZEthelwulf and Theoduhis are as much 
responsible for our Bavarian love-songs written in Latin as are 
any of the northern French poets who participated in the twelfth- 
century revival of learning. Let us see. 

Adam of St. Victor wrote no profane lyrics ; he remained all 
his life single to the sacred muse. Hildebert of Tours was doubt- 
less the best-known poet of his time, but in all his carmina mis- 
cellanea there is no erotic lyric verse. He possessed coolness, 
elegance, and poise. His were a fatal surety of diction and flexi- 
bility of form; and yet the best of his odes, like those to the 
Countess Adele of Blois and Queen Mathilde, are types of eulo- 
gistic writing without the direct and personal plea. They repre- 
sent but the farthest reach of stammbuchspoesie. 1 

Then there is the story of how Bernard of Clairvaux was given 
in his youth to the writing of worldly verses and prankish songs, 
but we may not read from this that their burden was the passion 
of love. Berengar who is sponsor for the tale refers to them as 
"tilts of rhythmic poetry, tours deforce of malice and raillery."* 
This is as we should expect. 3 Nor should we imagine that the 

1 Cf. Duperron, De venerabilis Hildeberti vita et scriptis (1855) ; de Deservillers, Hilde- 
bert et son temps (1876) ; Dieudonn6, Hildebert de Lavardin (1898) ; V. LeClerc, Histoire lit- 
teraire, Vol. XI 2 , pp. 20 ff. ; Haureau, Lea melanges d'Hildebert (1882). Subjective 
as Haur6au's criticism often is, it is quite as convincing as that of Pascal (" Le miscellanee 
poetiche di Ildeberto " (Poesia latina medievale [1907], pp. 5-68), who, while he agrees with 
Colucci ( Un nuovo poema latino dello xi secolo [1895], pp. 29 f.) that a mediaeval poet should 
not be censured for occasional lapses from good taste, still adjudges Hildebert no better an 
artist than Marbod, Gerald of Barri, Matthew of Vendome, and others. 

2 Haureau would reason that such poems were in part at least love-songs (Poemes attri- 
bute a 8. Bernard, p. iii). He cites the decree forbidding Cistercians to write rhythmic 
verses: "monachi qui rythmos fecerint ad domos alienas emittantur, non reversuri nisi per 
capitulum generale," and remarks : " By reading some collection of these verses, as, e. g., that 
of the monks of Benedictbeuern, one readily understands how it one day became necessary 
to condemn so great license, atter it had been tolerated so long." The facts do not warrant 
this statement. First, the Benedictine monks composed few, if any, of the songs in their 
MS; second, how can one argue from Cistercian and Clunian monks in twelfth-century 
France to Benedictines of thirteenth-century Bavaria, especially when the first term of the 
comparison is so vague a factor? 

3 For many passages in Bernard's letters evidence his aptitude for keen satire, and one 
at least shows him cognizant of the Golias songs. Walter Mapes in his De nugis curialium 
speaks of the epistle which says: "Peter Abelard stalks ahead like full-armored Goliath 



moduli of Walter of Chatillon "which resounded through all 
France" were tender love-songs. Again as in the case of Bernard 
a biographer tells us that Walter "conposuit cantilenas musicas." 1 
And Schreiber, following a hint of Giesebrecht's, assigns to him 
certain of the St. Omer songs because of their correspondence in 
diction and manner with some passages of Walter's longer and 
more earnest satirical narratives. But before we agree to this we 
must remember that in the Middle Ages musical songs were apt to 
be anything rather than amatory lyrics, that verbal correspondence 
by no means indicates borrowing from a particular author in a time 
and in a medium where set phrases necessarily predominate. 2 

I have chosen the four poets Adam and Hildebert, Bernard 
and Walter, because they are considered to be the greatest Latin 
poets of the twelfth century whose names we know. But I have 
also examined the poetical writings of many others, such as Serlo 3 

before his squire Arnold of Brescia." Cf . S. Bemardi opera (1726), Vol. II, col. 183 ; Phillips, 
Walter Map (Wiener Sitzungsber., Vol. X [1853], p. 333 reprint, p. 17). 

1 Cf . supra, Part I, p. 23, n. 2. 

2 There is no good reason for assigning all the St. Omer songs (Archiv.f. Kunde d. d. 
Vorzeit, Vol. VII) to a single author, just because some of them are similar in diction. Nor 
need we believe the learned professor and author of the Alexandreis wrote them, even if 
they do here and there bear a certain likeness of phrasing to the Confess/o Goliae and to 
other poems thought by some to be the work of Walter (cf . Haur6au, Notices et extraits. Vol. 
VI [1893], pp. 292 S.). The St. Omer songs are none of them simple as some of the Carmina 
burana are ; one and all they display the culture and taste of school-products. They there- 
fore show in large measure, exactly as we should expect them to, the same technique and in 
places almost identically the verbiage of the greater narrative and satirical poems of the 
goliards. It is at first, I admit, confusing to discover so many coincidences of thought and 
expression among the more artificial verses of mediaeval schoolmen and wandering students. 
But the commonplaces which Schreiber industriously cites (Die Vagantenstrophe, pp. 23 f., 
35 f.) are not necessarily proof of identity of authorship, if we recall that in such poetry the 
canons of scholastic taste produced an astonishing uniformity. Tricks of speech, conven- 
tional imagery, a fixed figurative mold, similarity of view-point, tone, and melody, scarcity 
of adequate metrical models all these causes induced a monotony of expression that 
would be inexplicable, but that we know it was the direct outgrowth of school routine 
and plagiarism. Again and again mediaeval sermons, letters, poems, nay, whole books, 
have been accredited to one schoolman or another on the basis of style and diction, 
only to discover at the last that what had seemed to be a safe foundation for such ascrip- 
tion is naught but quicksand. Many a deft line of Hildebert's is in the Anthologia latina, 
many a dramatic sermon which seems to breathe the very life of Paris is the death-mask of 
Seneca. Why try to specify what all students know? But, on the other hand, why base 
arguments on this or that supposed passage of Walter when the next moment may show it 
to be derived from Lucan? 

3 Before his conversion Serlo was the author of many licentious verses, some of which 
are known to us (cf. Haureau, Notices et extraits. Vol. I [1890], pp. 313, 323), but interesting 
as he is as a commentary on the school life of his day, there is nothing in his metrical verses 
devoted (cf. Mimoires de VAcademie des inscriptions, Vol. XXVIII, Part II, p. 242) to the 
praise of one maiden and one embrace, or to the tale of how his love prefers one deed to 
many words, which leads us even dimly to suspect this master of arts of a musical song. 



of Wilton, Gerald 1 of Barri, Baudri 2 of Bourgueil, Peter 3 of Blois, 
Reginald 4 of Canterbury, Henry 5 of Huntingdon, and many other 
poets who have been fabled to write cantilenae of the popular and 
singable sort. 6 Besides this, I have searched through metrical 

1 If Gerald really wrote poetry more lyrical in quality than the Descriptio cujusdam 
puellae (cf. Part I, p. 34, n. 1) or the distichs in which he pleads with Reason to aid him in 
overcoming his desire for the maiden he surprises at her bath, it is lost to us. This is not 
likely, for Gerald himself, anticipating the judgment of posterity, collected all his letters, 
poems, and speeches into one book, not even neglecting to write an autobiography (Giraldi 
opera, ed. Brewer, 1861 f.). No attempt at sincerity characterizes his verses; in epigram- 
matic measures he toys with any and every theme whether it be the girl Laetitia or the 
wrong employment of utraque. 

*No rhythmic songs ascribed to Baudri are extant, but his epistle to Emma (No. 215) is 
a new proof of the success with which certain churchmen cultivated Latin poetry toward 
the end of the twelfth century. It gives us a riant picture of the landscape of Bourgueil : 
Attamen iste locus foret olim vatibus aptus, 

Dum musae silvas solivagae colerent. 
Nam prope prata virent, ilfimibus humida rivis, 

Prataque graminea flore fovent oculos. 
Et virides herbas Incus vicinus amoenat, 

Quern concors avium garrulitas decorat. 
Hie me solartur tantummodo Cambio noster, 

Cujus saepe undas intueor vitreas. 

Romania, Vol. I (1872), p. 45 ; Delisle, Memoires de la societe des antiquaires de Normandie, 
3 s6rie, Vol. XXVIII (1871) ; Pasquier, Unpoete du xi* siecle (1878); Wattenbach, Berliner 
Akademie (1891), p. 16. 

3 So much has been falsely attributed to Peter of Blois that it is not safe often to char- 
acterize his writing, but except for a rhythmic conflictus between the fleshand the spirit 
and a few metrical lines on wine and beer we have nothing left of the poems he refers to in 
his letters. A single excerpt will suffice (epistola Ixii) : " Quod autem amatoria juventutis 
et adolescentiae nostrae ludicra postulas ad solatium taediorum, consiliosum non arbitror, 
cum talia tentationes excitare soleant et fovore. Omissis ergo lascivioribus cantilenis, 
pauca quae maturiore stylo cecini tibi mitto, si te forte relevent a taedio et aedificent ad 
salutem." Cf. Du Meril (1847), pp. 151, 201. 

*Cf. Neues Archiv,Vo\. XIII (1888); Wright, Biographia Britannica literaria (1846), 
Anglo-Norman Period, p. 78; Anglo-Latin Satirical Poets (Rolls Series, 1872), Vol. II. p. 262; 
ten Brink, Gesch. d. engl. Lit. (1899)2, p. 153. A most charming song is the poem in praise of 
Reginald's birthplace, Faye-la-Vinense : 

Fagia, si hxjuerer lingnis, et milia nossem 
Plectra, prius morerer quam singula scribere possem. 
Fagia, dum calidis sol curribus occidet undis 
Oeruleae Thetidis, hostes mucrone retundis. 
Fagia, donee aper silvas, et flumina piscis, 
Et virgulta caper repetent, tu crescere discis. 
Fagia, donee apes cithisum, juvenemque puella, 
Esuriensque dapes amat, ardes vincere bella. 

5 No amatory verses of Henry's are left us, unless we would call by this name the ten- 
der epigrammatic couplets of his younger days like : 

Qui tenerorum vulnus amorum non reveretur, 
Innumerorum tela dolorum perpetuetur. 
Cf . Anglo-Latin Satirical Poets, Vol. II, pp. 163 ff . 

6 The light poems of Stephen of Orleans were undoubtedly satirical in strain ; cf . supra, 
Part I, p. 23 ; and Du Meril (1847), p. 151, who gives quotations to prove this point. We need 
not halt further to extend our list of churchmen who wrote goliardic songs in their unregen- 
erate days, for the tale is ever the same. Odo of Orleans and Godefrid of Rheims were 
mere gelegenheitsdichter ; it was satire Pierre of Corbeil composed in his youth; cf. Droves, 
Stimmen aus Maria Laach, Vol. XL VII (1894), p. 576; Cherest, Bulletin de la Societe des 
Sciences de I'Yonne, Vol. VII (1853), p. 35; Chambers, Mediaeval Stage, Vol. I, p. 281. The 
nugae amatoriae which Leland ascribes to Joseph of Exeter were doubtless no more lyric 
than Hildebert's and surely not so graceful. 



poems of every kind which might be suspected of containing, or 
at least suggesting, lyric material: Fulbert of Chartres, Arnulf of 
Lisieux, Matthew of Vendome, Geoffrey 1 of Vinesauf, Marbod of 
Rennes, Bernard of Morlaix, etc. Uncharted seas of metrical 
lines dealing with love and women, the joys of the cup and of 
gaming, spring landscape and winter sorrow, have also been navi- 
gated, for I could not banish the fearful thought that any 
moment might bring in sight the land where was the sought-for 
lay of love, even if the poem but dimly shadowed forth the nebu- 
lous horizon of it. I shall of course not stop to publish the whole 
philological log of this journey, for it is only the record of con- 
tinued disappointment. The colophon of all is: no matter how 
unsparing the search, there is in the known and unknown Latin 
school- poems of the twelfth century no simple, rhythmical lay 
of love. 

As to Abelard I hesitate. His songs in the lighter manner 
caught, we are told, the ear of the street and the market-place. 
We have absolutely no proof that they were not written in French 
instead of Latin, except that a chance utterance of Abelard's 
informs us that the vernacular jargon was distasteful to him. But 
suppose that they were in Latin. The statement as to their pop- 
ularity comes from not unprejudiced sources: either Abelard 
loquitur, and his vanity was not exceeded even by his dialectic 
dexterity, or it is Heloise that is speaking, with the accustomed 
ardor of her uniquely passionate temperament. If Heloise is 
bearing witness of her own personal observation, let us remember 
that her environment was entirely a clerical and cultured one. 2 So 
many students had gathered to listen to her master that Re'musat 
can soberly claim the pupils of Abelard outnumbered the other 
citizens of a town. They and their camp-followers and para- 
sites were dominated by the brilliant figure of Abelard, blinded 

i Whose real name seems to have been the cacophonous " de Cumeselz " (cf . Haur6au, 
Notices et extraits. Vol. XXXIV, ii, p. 427 ; Hamilton, Amer. Jour. Phil., Vol. XXVIII (1907), 
p. 463. 

'*The story runs that Heloise when standing before the altar at which she took the veil 
sobbed forth the protest of Lucan's Cornelia (Pharsalia, Bk. viii) : 

o maxime conjnx 1 

O thalamis indigne meis ! Cur impia nnpsi, 
Si misernm factura fui? 

Cf. Bonca, Cultura medievale, p. 130. Whether we credit this tale or not, it is quite in 
accord with what we know of the temper of the age. 



by his romantic liaison with the mediaeval Hypatia. Very likely 
they passed his songs from lip to lip like flame. But still there 
are serious reasons for doubting that these lost amatoria would 
afford us a vision of a new world of erotic lyric singing. For 
one, I should never seek for them with Ehrenthal among poems 
like the Hebet sidus. 1 

Let us pause a moment to visualize the matter. Suppose that 
Adam of St. Victor had been discovered to be the author of pro- 
fane love-lyrics, what should we know before we had ever seen 
them ? We should know that one so overf ond of displaying feats 
of skill in versification, of prodigally accumulating and curiously 
interlacing his rhymes, would never overcome himself and appear 
a Villon, no matter how perfect his mastery of the forms he 
used. Or tell us that Hildebert is the author of newly discovered 
rhythmic pieces on the theme of love, and what shall we antici- 
pate? We shall expect again to meet the classical coolness of an 
elegant didacticism, the euphuistic statement of an Aramis among 
churchmen, but not a single melting love-lyric from the gentle 
prelate who has already filed ten thousand verses smooth. Now 
if one should say that the composer of a letter to Astrolabius, the 
author of cut-and-dried planctus on Old Testament subjects, the 
writer of ninety hymns and sequences that breathe but the life- 
less excogitations of a theological wit that some love-songs by 
this man had just been discovered, who would hurry to their peru- 
sal? He who had yawned over sacred pieces that are woefully 
prosaic in conception and imagery, 3 he who had wondered at the 
strange contrast such hymns offer to the intense beauty of St. 
Bernard's ? Scarcely. 

Three notable Latin poets remain, however: Primate, whom we 
may now know in part at least as Hugo 3 of Orleans, Archpoet, who 

iStudien zu den Liedern der Vaganten (1891), pp. 5f. 

2 Wilh. Meyer asserts that Abelard belongs among the most artistic poets of his age, but 
later on restricts this statement to the forms in which he composed his planctus (Ges. 
Abhandl., Vol. I, pp. 341, 357). Traube likewise speaks of the " formgewandten Abelard" 
when referring to Droves' Hymnarius Paraclitensis (1891). But it is easy to overestimate 
the poetic value of the almost numberless additions which twelfth-century churchmen 
made to hymnals and antiphonaries (cf. Chevalier, Poisie liturgique [1893], Julian, Diction- 
ary of Hymnology [1892]). 

3 One cannot read without a thrill Wilhelm Meyer's remarkable study of the Primate, 
Hugo of Orleans (Gottinger Nachrichten [1907], pp. 75-111, 118-75). A new poet and a new 



should be a German if only for his meum est propositum, and 
scapegrace English Hilary. But still we cannot speak of a tender 
love-song. In Primate and Archpoet both we find a satire that 
burns, a humor that riots, a deftness and verve of narration that 
brings the scene clearly before us with a few bold strokes. And 
these are things which pave the way for a certain sort of lyric 
verse, although they never attain to it unless the superadded touch 
be given. Where among all the pieces of Golias and Archipoeta, 
Primas and Walter of Chatillon, Walter Mapes 1 and Philip of 
Greve, do we cull out a love-lyric ? The most that can be said of 
such a lyric in connection with these narratives filled with pungent 
irony, cynicism, and invective, is that they are at times so personal 
as to be lyric in their general tone, so genial that we would not 
willingly deny to the age that bore them a softer accompaniment 
of love-song. And this existed in fact, as we know, but its authors, 
like those of popular poetry the world over, are unknown to us. 

type of poetry is there discovered to us we could do without this MS of Oxford verses as 
little as we could surrender the Cambridge songs or the Benedictbeuern pieces. With mas- 
terful touch Meyer unrolls before us the picture of Hugo and his environment. A small, 
ugly figure he calls himself Zacchaeus Hugo is the master of a biting wit, a termagant 
for temper, but sympathetic with distress, an inveterate beggar, grumbler, gambler ; versed 
in all the lore of the schools and yet a genial poet who knows on occasion how to avoid 
pedantry and to depict living scenes in a fashion remarkably natural, bluff, and popular. 
Clearness of expression and an abundance of enlivening detail unite to lend many of his 
verses a unique warmth and strength. A creature of contrasts : master of smooth hexame- 
ters and flawless rhythms, author of mordacious and rough verses mixed of French and 
Latin ; now a conscious poet of elegant diction, now spewing forth nastiness that would 
shame a gamin of the streets such Wilhelm Meyer shows him to be, with every shading 
that combined erudition, acumen, and intuition can disclose. Born toward the end of 
the eleventh century, some sixty years older than the Archpoet, Hugo does not attain the 
latter's profundity of thought and emotion; a certain splendor and richness of imagery 
which characterize the archpoet's efforts are lacking in the Frenchman. But on the 
other hand there is no trace in Hugo of the learned professor and poet, as in Walter of 
Chatillon ; he is simple and humane as none other of his time. 

If such a one as this has left us no lyric love-song of tender import, but contents him- 
self where women are concerned with either a satirical bow or with the railing and bawdy 
utterance of the brothel, should we dim our eyes seeking through all the amatory pieces of 
school and church in twelfth-century France for anything more than graceful ode, gelegen- 
heitslied, or dedicatory distich? It is labor lost to rummage through a haystack for a 
needle, unless we believe at least a pin will reward our pains. 

i"If, as is still possible," says Saintsbury (History of Criticism [1900], Vol. I, p. 470, 
note), "and most probably can never be disproved, Walter Map fashioned the perfect 
ArthU' stories by dint of combining the Lancelot-Guinevere romance and the Graal legend, 
composed the De nugis and wrote an appreciable quantity of the goliardic poems, he will 
run Chaucer hard in all but the claims impossible to his time. But the 'if is a big if." 
How large an "if" is made clear by Sandys, who remarks that twelve eleginc Latin verses 
comprise "almost the only certainly genuine product of Map's muse that has survived;" 
of. Cambridge History of English Literature, Vol. I (1807), p. 210. 



Last not least is Hilary. I find no reason why we should not 
regard him as the typical gelegenheitsdichter of his time in the 
northern French schools. He was a student of Abelard's, the gift 
of lyric song as it was understood in his day was strong within 
him. The phrases of his cult were at his finger-tips. A sense of 
form rare in the measures of the age characterizes his work, an easy, 
at times insouciant grace ; poetic instinct. He had no aversion to 
French refrains Hildebert himself betrays no greater smoothness 
of rhythm. Until new light is given us we must believe his lines 
the pattern of the new school-lyric with its Mariolatry made over 
into minnedienst, its conventional rhymed letters to titled blue- 
stockings, 1 its frank avowal of preferring Ganymede to Hebe. 
First then let us examine this type of gallant versification, that we 
may the better appreciate the difference between it and certain 
ballads of love and springtime found in the Carmina burana. 

In its inception at least mediaeval Latin school-poetry was 
satirical rather than lyrical, moralizing rather than descriptive, 
declamatory and not the expression of individual feeling. Just as 
it had been the custom in older monastery schools to read long 
poems treating dully of the viciousness of the world, so at stated 
intervals when the students of French and English schools 
assembled for disputation with their teachers we know that poems 
were presented in which various orders of society and different 
sects were made to feel the lash of a keen satire. Cynicism soon 

iCf. Baudri's epistles to Cecile, Muriel, Agnes, Emma, Beatrix, Constance; Duchesne, 
Historiae Francorum scriptores coaetanei. Vol. IV (1641), pp. 274 ff ; iMigne, Patroloyia, Vol. 
CLXVI, coll. 1181-1208; Delisle, Romania, Vol. I (1872), pp. 42 ff. Certain of the twelfth-cen- 
tury billets doux, despite the conventional nature of their content, are well worth remem- 
bering. I quote from Hagen (Carmina medii aevi, p. 201) the tender note to Juliana, by an 
unknown author: 

Carmina rnissa gravis mihi sunt fomenta caloris : 

Totus in accenso pectore saevit amor. 
Nuper erat risus mihi missi carminis actor, 

Cum Veneris tardam saepp rogaret opem. 
Spernebam Venerem, saevosque Cupidinis arcus, 

Non expertus adhuc posse, Cupido, tuum, 
Indignata Venus zelo me fixit acuto : 

Vulneris impatiens sentio, quid sit amor. 
Si medicina queat tantum lenire dolorem, 

Sola potes dubiae ferre salutis opem. 
Mellea verba tuae, nisi fallant. dissona, menti 

Languenti modicum te, Juliana, dabis. 
Tarn dulci pretio tibi me firmabis aniicum, 

Moribus, aetate, nobilitate parem. 
Nos ita consimiles, ut mutuus uniat ignis, 

Elige me solum, quae mihi sola places, 
Et quia nulla domus nostris conspectibus obstat, 

Aspoctu recrees lumina nostra tuo. 



came to the fore at such occasions as William Fitz-Stephen, for 
example, informs us: 1 

Sunt alii, qui in epigrammatibus rythmis et metris utuntur vetere ilia 
triviali dicacitate, licentia Fescennina socios suppressis nominibus liberius 
lacerant loedorias jaculantur et scommata, salibus Socraticis sociorum 
vel forte majorum vitia tangunt vel mordacius dente rodunt Theonino 
audacibus dithyrambis. Audi tores, 

multum ridere parati, 
Ingeminant tremulos naso crispante cachinnos. 

When we remember that even the shorter school-poems were pre- 
pared with a view to recitation rather than singing, we find a 
quick explanation for much of the figurative imagery and scaf- 
folding that the lyric pieces betray. Heaping-up of words, cita- 
tions of classical analogues by the score, digressive reminiscence 
of biblical story, far-fetched paronomasia, constant allusion to 
school-exercises and study these are the things that find their 
background in the aula and not in outdoor life. 1 * 

The Latin erotic lyric, in so far as it was the product of the 
schools, did not take its origin from these longer songs of learned 
and cynical import. But it was at first conditioned by the same 
custom and environment, it sprang from like authors, it leaned on 
school tradition. 

Hilary was a young Englishman 3 who studied with Abelard at 

iCf. Wright, Biographia, p. 364; Hubatsch, op. cit., p. 20; Robertson, Materials for the 
History of Thomas Becket (1876) , Vol. Ill, p. 1 ; Dictionary of National Biography, Vol. XIX, 
p. 212; GrOber, Grundriss, Vol. II, p. 275. 

2 Even the so-called Comoediae were written in distichs and intended for reading or at 
most for reciting ; they are as much book-poetry as the legends of Roswitha and are not to 
be confused with dramas which were performed, like the Mysteries derived from the liturgy, 
or, on the other hand, the living and political drama of Antichrist. Cf . Cloetta, Beitr&ge zur 
Ltteraturgesch. d. Mittelalters (1890), Vol. I; (Jreizenach, Geschichte des neueren Dramas 
(1893), Vol. I ; Chambers, Mediaeval Stage (1903), Vol. II, pp. 208 S. 

3 Duchesne, who first published one of Hilary's songs (Abaelardi opera, ed. Amboesus 
[1616], p. 2436), does not deal with his nationality. Mabillon thought him English (Annales 
ordinis 8. Benedicti, Vol. V [1713], p. 315); a view adopted in Histoire littlraire, Vol. XII 
(1763), p. 255. Champollion-Figeac hints that Hilary is French (Hilarii versus et ludi [1838], 
p. vii) and Hubatsch agrees with him (Lat. Vagantenlieder [1870], p. 10), adding that 
the grace and smoothness of the poet's diction would have been remarkable in an Eng- 
lishman of his day(!). Leyser (Hisloria poematum [1741], p. 416) and Grober (Grun- 
driss, pp. 347, 355 f., 396, 421, 424-26) do not refer to the place of his birth, but Wright (Bio- 
graphia, p. 91) and Schofield (History of Eng. Lit., pp. 66, 67) decide for England. Sandys 
is non-committal. He says that Hilarius "is supposed to have been an Englishman" (Cam- 
bridge History of English Literature, Vol. I, p. 212). 

For English origin speaks the fact that five of Hilary's twelve lyric pieces are addressed 
to persons of English birth: Eve, Rose, William of Anfonia, and two English boys. Hervey 



Paraclet and Quincey. He wrote twelve poems which have come 
down to us: 

1. Evae virginis epicedium 6. Ad Petrum Abelardum 

2. Ad sanctimonialem nomine 7. Ad puerum Andegavensem 

Bonam 8. Caliastri laudes 

3. Ad sanctimonialem nomine 9. Ad Guillelmum de Anfonia 

Superbam 10. Ad puerum Anglicum 

4. forte ad eandem 11. Ad puerum Anglicum 

5. Ad Roseam 12. De papa scholastico 

The titles of eight of these suffice to indicate the nature of 
their contents. No. 1 is a flabby and conventional dirge of forty 
quatrains uninteresting save for the light it throws upon the char- 
acter of Hilary's scoffing fellows: Eve dwelt alone with the hermit 
Hervey, asseverates the poet, yet without sin: 

Ibi vixit Eva diu cum Herveo socio. 
Qui hec audis, ad hanc vocem te turbari sencio. 
Fuge, f rater, suspicari, nee sit hie suspicio: 
Non in mundo, sed in Christo fuit hec dilectio. 

Ille sibi serviebat tanquam sue domine, 
Et vicissim Eva sibi sub ancille nomine. 
Minis amor viri talis atque talis femine, 
Qui probatus et repertus omni sine crimine! 

No. 6 is a prayer to Abelard not to retire to Quincey (10 
quatrains with French refrain) ; No. 8 is a potboiler in praise of 
the charms and the wines of Chalautre, written presumably in 

of the Evae epicedium is likewise an English recluse. We know that there were many English 
novices in France at this time ; cf . a letter of Geoffrey of Vendome (Epistolae, ed. Sirmondo 
[1610], p. 228; Migne, Patrologia, Vol. CLVII) in which he complains that unworthy English 
clerks have been sent to his monastery. Why deny any of these novices grace and smooth- 
ness when they are of the race that is soon to produce the mature work of John of Salisbury, 
Walter Mapes, and Gerald of Barri? A final reference to the English occurs in a line of the 
Depapa scholastico: " Papam tremit Gallus et Anglicus." 

The presence of French refrains in two of Hilary's songs has strengthened the opinion 
of some as to his French origin, but a moment's reflection shows the untrustworthiness of 
this prop. Macaronic song was the rule and not the exception in a society composed of 
members from every race in Europe besides which, since the Norman conquest French 
was the birthright or the acquirement of all cultured Englishmen. Who can determine the 
author of the following song : 

Scripsi haec carmina in tabulis. 

Mon ostel est en mi la vile de Paris : 

May y sugge namore, so wel me is ; 

jef y deje for love of hire, duel hit ys. 

Cf. Wright, Specimens of Lyric Poetry (1842), p. 64; ten Brink, Gesch. d. engl. Lit. (1899)*, 
Vol. I, p. 354. 


payment for food and lodging (9 quatrains) ; No. 12 is an enco- 
mium of the scholastic pope, a figure having to do with one of the 
scholars' revels. Nos. 7, 9, 10, 11 are odes to boys after the man- 
ner of the O admirabile Veneris idolum, unworthy of mention 
except for the scholastic tradition which they mark: a tradition 
again referred to in No. 12: 

Papa captus hunc vel hanc decipit, 
Papa nullum vel nullam excipit. 

We should hardly expect the author of such poems to develop 
either tenderness or power in addressing women, and in this we are 
not disappointed. Nos. 2, 3, and 4 are samples of a poetic corre- 
spondence Hilary carried on with nuns; he exchanges songs with 
them, denominates himself their humble servitor, quern emisti 
munere, would have a new girdle from one and bounty from 
another, and assures them one and all of his unwavering constancy. 
There is nothing in these three amatory songs, nugae amatoriae, 
to warrant our believing them the models of the sincere, concrete, 
sensuous popular lyrics contained in the Carmina burana. They 
are simply and solely modish poetry padded with the current polite 
phrases of minnedienst, graceful protestations of an unfelt homage, 
ready compliments of an homme du monde. We could hope for 
no surer testimony that we must not look to France for the ori- 
ginals of our popularizing lyrics than these twelfth -century Franco- 
Latin poems. As Hilary's poems are not easily accessible it will 
perhaps be well to print one of them herewith that the reader may 
convince himself of the truth of these assertions. I choose his 
ode to Rose, the warmest, most tender of all his verses: 


1 2 

Ave sidus occidentis, Ave, splendor puellarum, 

Sidus lucis unice, Generosa domina, 

Summum decus tue gentis Genma micans, sidus claram, 

Et telluris Anglice; Speciosa femina, 

Fama multis argumentis Quae precellis, et non parum, 

Protestatur publice Mulierum agmina, 

Quis sit status tue mentis, Bonum ingens, bonum rarum, 
Quam largus inmodice. Mea lege carmina ! 




Crede mihi, cum natura 

Te primo conposuit, 
Ad probandum sua jura 

Te mundo proposuit. 
Dotes multas, bona plura 

Tibi quidem tribuit; 
Et quid posset sua cura 

Prudenter exibuit. 


Corpus decens, splendor visus 

Orisque modestia, 
Et venustus ille risus 

Carensque lascivia, 
Effecerunt ut confisus 

Sim de tua gratia: 
Ob hoc ego sum enisus 

Ad audendum talia. 

Te produxit generosam 

Parentum nobilitas, 
Te produxit speciosam 

Benigna nativitas; 
Te severam, te jocosam 

Doctrine frugalitas; 
Nomen tuum signat rosam, 

Et ecce virginitas. 

Per te fama verum dicit 

Neque cessat dicere, 
Atque famam verum vincit, 

Dum nequid sufficere; 
Fama vero senper crescit 

Neque cessat crescere; 
Sic se victam erubescit, 

Quae solebat vincere. 

Cum sis potens et benigna, 

Sicut esse sentio, 
Nunc susmito, virgo digna, 

Me tuo servitio; 
Corpus meum et res meas 

Jam tibi subicio; 
Me deffendas, et res eas, 

Mea sis protectio. 

Jam securus ego vivam, 

Ad cuncta tentamina 
Tutus ero, cum te divam 

Habeam pro domina. 
Sume mea, virgo decens, 

Benigne precamina, 
Ut te laudet forma recens 

Mea senper pagina. 

This is as near love-poetry as any known author of the twelfth 
century came to write. Polished as a brilliant pebble, its phrase- 
ology borrowed from the hymns to Mary, addressed to a lady of 
noble birth, collected and cool as Hildebert's compliment to Adele 
or Baudri's epistle to Emma ; such poetry was current in the French 
schools of Hilary's day. Odo of Orleans, Peter of Blois, Godefrid 
of Rheims, Henry of Huntingdon, and many another may have 
achieved like verse, but the lost effusions of these young and amor- 
ous students have not come down to us. 


We must not call the nugae amatoriae of schoolmen and 
churchmen love-lyrics, for then no term is left to use when we are 



confronted by the glowing, sensual, concrete poems with which 
we are now to deal. 1 In these erotic verses which custom connects 
with the name of goliard, woman is first depicted with detailed 
realism, the poet spends himself in the recital of passionate senti- 
ment: "novus ignis in me furit; cor aestuat interius; amare 
crucior; morior vulnere quo glorior." Hilary's gray -hooded Rose 
is pale as some young Schiller's Laura when compared with Flora 
faultless as a blossom, 2 Lydia whose cheeks of rose are dyed with 
Tyrian red, 3 or the maiden like a morning-star who is compact of 
Blanchefleur and Helen and full-limbed Venus. 4 In the back- 
ground of Hilary's poems loom convent walls and nuns singing 
matins; in goliardic verse the scene shifts to the dimly lighted 
room of Venus non verecunda: 

Dum caupona verterem 
Vino debachatus, 
Secus templum Veneris 
Eram hospitatus; 5 

Veneris ad thalamum 
Omnes currant viae; 
Non est in tot turribus 
Tunis Alethiae; 6 

Si variarum 
Odor herbarum 

1 Interesting is the pronouncement of Gerhoh of Reichersberg (d. 1169) : " In all the 
realm of Christendom none longer dares to aing shameless songs publicly." This statement 
shows how little trust should often be reposed in contemporary testimony. Cf. Scherer, 
Gesch. d. d. Dichtung, p. 63. 

2 Carmina burana, No. 56; Wright, Early Mysteries (1838), p. 114; Haureau, Notices et 
extraits, Vol. XXIX, Part II, p. 312. Although the version of MS Christine is the completest 
of the three redactions (8 stanzas), Haureau actuated by a false shame prints but three stan- 
zas. In self-justification he quotes Figaro's epigram : " Man drinks when he is not thirsty 
and makes love continually that's what distinguishes him from the animals." 

3 Anthologia latino, ed. Riese, Vol. II, p. xli ; Qaudeamus (1879)2, p. 96. 

* Carmina burana, No. 50; cf. Burckhardt, Kultur der Renaissance (1869) 2 , p. 138. Two 
passages of this long mosaic poem are noteworthy : stanzas 8 and 9, which remind in their 
phraseology of Hilary's Ad Roseam but are shot through with color ; stanzas 29 and 30, which 
Symonds refers to as "a paean of victorious passion." 

5 Carmina burana, No. 49 ; a long poem in mock heroic strain dealing with the visit of 
a student in a brothel. 

6 Carmina burana, No. CLXXII ; the celebrated Confessio Goliae. For the bibliography 
and variant texts of this poem see Werner, Beitrage zur Kunde d. latein. Lit., p. 200. In the 
name Alethia Paris (Romania, Vol. VII, p. 95; cf. Vol. XXIV, p. 455), Laistner (Qermania, 
Vol. XXVI, p. 420; Golias, p. 106), and Peiper ( Gaudeamusi, p. 213) see an allusion to the 
character in Theodulus' Ecloga: "Alethia virgo decora nimis David de semine regis pro 
Christiana religione decertat cum Pseuste." 




Si dederit 

Thorum rosa, 

Dulciter soporis alimonia 

Post defessa Veneris commercia 

Lassis captatur, 

Dum instillatur. 1 

Suddenly it is as if the shackles had fallen away. In such poetry 
Tannhauser no longer cringes before the pope hopeless of absolution ; 
Tristan is careless of discovery, Launcelot makes laughing confes- 
sion. All people seem in love with loving. The world is gross 
a little, but then for a short space the world is again free. "If 
you bring Hippolitus | To Pavia Sunday | He'll not be Hippo- 
litus On the following Monday," says the Archpoet. Stronger 
than Hercules must that clerk be who but for the moment will 
escape the snares of Venus. 2 What we may think of this sort of 
poetry is another matter, but one thing is sure. It is a new type. 
Where did it come from? How did it come about? 

Let me answer these two questions by asking one. Why 
should the most accomplished and awakened set of writers which 
central Europe knew the students at the French schools be 
exempt from the pervasive influence of new social ideals which 
found their highest expression at just this time in vernacular 
verse and courtois poetry? I quote from Diez: 

While the songs of the troubadours were affording joy and entertain- 
ment to the cultured world in the south of France, the northeast of Spain, 
and upper Italy, lyrical poetic art was likewise being practiced in the 
other parts of Europe under the same, or at least similar, conditions and 
forms and in a kindred spirit. This poetry appears everywhere in the 
double guise of artistic and courtly verse, developing according to local 
circumstances and popular traditions. This similarity is even to the 
casual glance surprising, but it gains in extent and clarity the moment 
that one after careful sifting collates the various points to be compared. 
And so the question cannot be avoided: did communication and reciprocal 
influence occur, and if so, to what extent ? In such assembling the Pro- 
vencal lyric necessarily seems to occupy the most important place, for it 

iCarmina burana, No. 37; of the author of this piece Burckhardt wrote: "der fein 
beobachtende Sybarit kann kein Nordlander sein." 

tCarmina burana, No. 38; Analecta hymnica, Vol. XXI, p. 154: Haur6au says of it 
(Notices etextraits. Vol. XXIX, Part II, p. 310): "C'est une jolie piece, ecrite avec aisance, 
oh la pensee n'est pas obscurci6 ni la langue viciee pour satisfaire aux exigences du rythme." 



is the oldest and geographically situated in the center of the others. But 
no matter how many traits these literary phenomena may have in common, 
one should still be careful not to accord too great weight to their inter- 
communication. One must at all times seek to differentiate between 
what is transmitted and, on the other hand, that which arises from general 
human conditions and from the particular trend of the age. 1 

The poetry of troubadour, trouvere, minnesinger, and goliard 
are all brought into being by the new spirit of the twelfth century 
which we know so well; chivalry and the cloth of gold, love of 
sensuous beauty and of every luxury that spiced and embellished it. 
None of these bodies of verse grew by insensible gradations out 
of preceding forms one single movement added a new character- 
unit, a simple mutation occurred, and that moment mediaeval 
worldly love-lyrics of a novel species were born. 2 All that the 
nugae amatoriae of schoolmen needed to become erotic goliard 
lyrics they received from the same impulse that changed the ver- 
nacular lyric of France, Germany, and Italy. The instant this 
impulse was manifest in Latin poetry the new type was born. 3 

If we wish, then, to connect this storm-and-stress lyric with 
that of men like Hilary, we must use the phrase school-poetry in 
a changed sense. It can no longer mean meticulous lyric and 
epic verse with the traditions of the school and of scholasticism in 
every line of it. It is a poetry of revolt, one that has found con- 
scious expression for the passions and tumults of town and uni- 
versity life, one that reflects the answer of its time to the pressure 
of novel conditions.* The free-lance who wrote the Saevit aurae 

1 Cf. Diez, Die Poesie der Troubadours (1883)2, pp . 213, 215. 

2 Cf. Manly, " Literary Forms and the New Theory of the Origin of Species," Modern 
Philology, Vol. IV, pp. 577 if.; Allen, ibid., Vol. Ill, pp. 442 ff. 

3 Vogt, Leben und Dichten der deutschen Spielleute im Mittelalter (1876) , pp. 9 f . : "Until 
the middle of the twelfth century the dominant class in the domain of poetry continued to 
be the clergy, and it is characteristic that even the duchess Gertrnde, wife of Henry the 
Proud, when she wished to hear the Song of Roland in German verses, did not turn as we 
might expect to a minstrel but to a priest. Not until the twelfth century came, and the whole 
intellectual life of the nation underwent that powerful about-face which gave full currency 
to the worldly element in literature, did the minstrels occupy a more important and influ- 
ential position in the history of German culture." With practically no change these sen- 
tences will do as well for the story of any other European literature. As clergy yielded 
their ground to minstrels, so did Latin churchmen fall back somewhat before the children of 
this world, the goliards. "Legend and love were the two main themes of the twelfth century 
literary revolt against earlier religious traditions." Strange, indeed, would it be if the 
Latin students of the period had continued unmoved by them. 

*We gain a hint of the coming of such poetry in the Viennese MS published in the 
Archiv. f. dltere deutsche Geschichte, Vol. X, p. 559 : " Young people surrender.themselves to 



spiritus may possibly be a clerk like Hilary, but he resembles him 
no more than the author of the Roman Elegies or the Venetian 
Epigrams resembles the poet who composed watery and inane 
poetic exercises for the Leipziger Liederbuch, or (to speak in 
terms of closer analogy) than Walther in the years of his maturity 
as wandering singer and political seer resembled him who wrote 
while under the spell of Reinmar's courtly effusions the songs of 
the "first period": theorizing debates on the nature of love. 

A new type of poetry assuredly ; a new sort of author perhaps. 
The wandering students (goliards) seem to have known life better 
than they did grammar and dialectic, to have been in close touch 
with all classes and conditions of people. 1 They scarcely aban- 
doned their school life to become settled churchmen, famous peda- 
gogues, royal secretaries and the like, as did most of those we 
spoke of in the preceding chapter. No conventional bonds were 
set for them ; whoever they were, they led a care-free and vagabond 

an indiscreet and frivolous manner of living, run after prostitutes who make public display 
of their wares, and seek by their effeminate and ribald verses to seduce and incite to sensual 
pleasure any who will listen to them. These youths believe that they are thus acquiring 
much fame, whereas they only succeed in being ridiculous. For proper and intelligent men 
despise the things on which they set much value, esteem them as nothing more than minstrels, 
and take good care not to clothe them with reputable offices." Evil as the morals of the 
students were, and they have been portrayed to us by many a contemporary reformer (cf ., for 
example, a sermon of Chancellor Prevostin, thirteenth century, Haureau. Vol. Ill, p. 166), 
the pace was set for them by their instructors like master like man. When we remember 
the verses of Serlo referred to above, and recall among the poems ascribed to Marbod the 
Satira in amatorem pueri (Migne, Patrologia, Vol. GLXXI, col. 1717; Werner, Beitr&ge zur 
Kunde der latein. Lit.*, p. 5) ; when we review the epigrams assigned to Hildebert (Hau- 
reau, Melanges potiques, pp. 177 ff.) : how he believes sodomy not a crime but a vice, details 
the phases in the development of the human seed, how in the Elegia de perfida arnica 
(Grober, Grundriss, Vol. II, p. 421) the poet warns against women who betray their lovers 
for money ; we need not be surprised to find poems of similar import intruding everywhere 
even in the trope-books and sequence-collections. The song Clauso chronos reserato (Car- 
mina burana, No. 46) is among a series of Christmas songs in a sequentiar of the Order of 
Preachers; MS St. Gall 383, Zeitschr. f. deut. Alt., Vol. XXXIX, p. 363, Analecta hymnica, 
Vol. XX, p. 7. The Olim sudar Herculis (Carm. bur., No. 38) is found along with other vagan- 
tenlieder in the antiphonary of Peter of Medici ; Codex Laurentianus Plut. XXIX, 1, Annu- 
aire bulletin de la society de Vhistoire de France (1885), pp. 101 ff., Analecta hymnica, Vol. 
XX, p. 9. The Rumor letalis (Carm. bur.. No. 83) and other profane songs of the Benedict- 
b'euern collection are included in a troparium of the thirteenth century ; Codex Stuttgartien- 
sis. Handbibl. I Asc. 95, Analecta hymnica, Vol. XX, p. 28, etc., etc. The famous chansonnier 
of Montpellier contains in parallel columns liturgic texts and erotic, often smutty, French 
love-songs; Coussemaker, L'art harmonique au xii et xiii siecle (1865) ; Roller, Zeitschr. f. 
Musikwissenschaft, Vol. IV, p. 1-82 ; Raynaud, Recueil de motets francais (1881), Vol. I ; Ana- 
lecta hymnica, Vol, XX. p. 28. The sacred songs of Cod. Parisin. 15131 appear to have been 
composed to fit the melodies of old French popular pieces ; Haurfau, Vol. IV, p. 278, Ana- 
lecta hymnica, Vol. XX, p. 24. Hard it is to decide in many cases whether we are dealing 
with mediaeval naivete or brutality (cf . supra, Part I, p. 33) . 
i Cf. ten Brink, Gesch. d. engl. Lit., Vol. I (1899)2, pp. 353 f. 



existence and the stamp of it is everywhere in the erotic lyrics 
they composed and sang. 

As to the other question, how far we may trace in these lyrics 
the influence of Provencal and French prototypes it is difficult, 
in the present state of our knowledge impossible, to attempt a 
definite answer. In isolated cases, of course, we may demonstrate 
that one Latin lyric or another came from specific French or Pro- 
vengal songs. 1 But to ascertain in any general and sweeping 
fashion just in how far the love-lyrics of the goliards were con- 
ditioned by and shaped after a precedent body of vernacular court- 
poetry in France this is quite a different matter. First, we must 
establish a codification of the melodies, verse and stanza forms, 
rhyme devices, etc., of troubadour and trouvere poetry; and then 
show that these were introduced into Latin lyrics of a later date 
than they. Second, we must gather the main themes and the 
particular treatment of these themes in troubadour and trouvere 
poetry and prove that at a later time Latin lyrics adopted them. 
Third, in many minor matters of internal evidence, such as idio- 
syncrasy of phrase and epithet, style and syntax, reminiscences, 
commonplaces, identity of petty mannerism, and the like, we must 
make apparent that the mediaeval Latin love-lyrics followed defi- 
nitely in the steps of precedent vernacular verse in southern and 
northern France. 

These things have already been done, it is true, in a detached 
fashion and with widely differing results. We have many studies 
of melodic and harmonic art during the twelfth and thirteenth cen- 
turies, 2 but still none that make reasonable the claim of France to 
priority where Latin lyricality is concerned. Investigation of 
French verse and stanza forms leaves us yet with the possibility 
that mediaeval Latin erotic lyrics followed quite exclusively their 
own traditional development. 3 Their themes, too, are largely akin 

1 By applying tests, for instance, such as those suggested in the Appendix, infra. 

2 For bibliography of this subject cf. the study of Lavoix on the Musique au siecle de 
St. Louis (in the second volume of Baynaud's Recuell de motets francais [1883] ), pp. 467-79, 
and the supplements of Vierteljahrsschrift fUr Musikwissenschaft, 1885 ff. ; also David et 
Lussy, Histoire de la notation musicale depuis ses origines (1882) ; Coussemaker, L'art har- 
monique (1865), and Eestori's "Note sur la musique des chansons" in Julleville, Histoire, 
Vol. I, pp. 390 ff. 

3Cf. Wilhelm Meyer, Fragmenta burana, pp. 173 ff. ; Oesammelte Abhandlungen (1905), 
Vol. II, pp. 30 ff . Meyer says : " Ich glaube bewiesen zu haben, dass die Deutschen seit Not- 



to those of all the vernacular bodies of mediaeval verse and unless 
one insist unduly upon the evidence of MS chronology 1 there is 
nothing to be gained by the cataloguing of motifs that Latin 
poetry possessed in great part centuries before the troubadours 
and trouveres appeared upon the scene. 2 

Perhaps we shall never know beyond the shadow of doubt 
either of two things: first, that there were not written before the 
twelfth century by goliards beautiful Latin ballads of love; 3 sec- 
ond, just how great was the influence exercised by the Provengal 

ker einen ununterbrochenen Strom lebhafter und kunstreicher Sequenzondichtung gehabt 
haben und dass von den lateiiiiachea Gedichten der Carmina Burana sicher viele,wahrschein- 
lich die moisten in Deutschland gedichtet sind." Meyer believes in the priority of the Latin 
forms to the French : " Den Provenzalen und den Franzosen lag es bei der grosseu Ahnlich- 
keit der Spracho viel naher und leichter, die kunstreichen Strophen der mittellateinischen 
Dichter nachzuahmen. Was bei diesem Streben die provenzalischen, die franzosischen und 
die deutschen Dichter geleistet haben, dessen Wert gegenseitig abzuwagen, ist kaum mOg- 
lich und hat keinen Zweck." 

1 As one should not do ; simply because a sort of Provencal lyric (based upon the time- 
tables of MSS which have chanced to descend to us) seems to antedate certain French songs 
by a few years ; because again the latter precede by a span the German courtly song, and 
this German poetry anticipates the appearance of some Latin erotic verses therefore 
what? For this reason alone shall we establish a direct line of evolution in four languages 
from Poitou to Benedictbeuern by way of Paris? I have already expressed my feelings on 
this head (cf. Modern Philology, Vol. Ill, p. 412). 

2 Latin poetry is the starting-point of any investigation of the mediaeval Provencal and 
French lyric. Failure to recognize this fact largely, at times entirely, nullifies the results 
attained by Jeanroy in his Origines. He would prove first that certain themes existed in 
France and that they later were developed in other countries, and all this is fairly true, 
especially when we accept his chronology as decisive and believe that post hoc means propter 
hoc. But there is nothing essentially French in most of the themes that he lists as funda- 
mental ones ; and as a matter of fact almost all of them can be found in Latin poetry known 
to us from a much earlier time than the one that he treats. 

The only reason, of course, that we cannot discover many of these themes in vernacular 
poetry of the centuries precedent to the troubadours is that all of this earlier verse is lost, 
and there is but the indistinct mirage of it in the dull skies of Latin literature. There were 
minstrels who wrote well in Romance long before the middle of the ninth century, if we 
believe such testimony as the lines which summon poets to the memorial service for Adalhard 
of Corbie (d. 826) : 

Rustica concelebret romana latinaque lingua 

Saxo, qui pariter plangens pro carmine dicat : 

Vertite hue cuncti cecinit quam maximus ille, 

Et tumulum facite, et turuulo super addite carmen. 

Cf. Raynouard, Choix despoesies des troubadours (1816-21), Vol. II, p. cxxxv ; Diez, op. cit., p. 16 ; 
Rajna, Le origini delV epopea francese, p. 326, note 2. 

3 Harping upon a single theme is tiresome, but I would again suggest that it is not 
beyond the realm of possibility that a new MS earlier in date than the twelfth century will 
be discovered in which Latin love-ballads are included; then may topple the carefully 
reared fabric of goliard ascendency in twelfth-century France. Without the Cambridge 
MS we should be without any hint of such a song as the Levis exsurgit zephyrus; except for 
Schroder's discovery twelve years ago we should not know that popular German dance bal- 
lads were being piped in the early years of the eleventh century. By so thin a thread does 
literary history at times depend. English literature furnishes two remarkable analogies. 
Were it not for one poem, The Owl and Nightingale, early transition English would offer us 



lyric on the poems of the wandering students. We must be con- 
tent to say that from the twelfth century on, impelled thereto by a 
new movement in literary art, goliards composed songs like the 
Saevit auraespiritus, Lydia bella,andSi linguis angelicis, referred 
to above, like the E globo veteri, Rumor letalis, 1 and a host of 
other poems contained in the MSS of St. Omer, Queen Christine, 
and Benedictbeuern. Effective as these pieces are, they are still 
full of classical reminiscence, recondite mythological allusion, 
artificial verse structure, learned apparatus, scholastic subtleties, 
and mention of school and studies; they are poems frankly cog- 
nizant of the necessity for fleshly enjoyment, hungry for it, 
unsated by it, unabashed in the discussion of it. 2 

These poems, so far as we may judge by the MS evidence at 
our present disposal, were written by the goliards first in the 
twelfth century and in France. There is no inherent reason why 
Englishmen and Germans and Italians who had never been in any 
of the French schools may not have composed such verses, but 
proof of this is lacking. Current doctrine therefore may hold en 
d6faut de mieux until we know more than we do or are likely to 
about the individual history of these fugitive Latin pieces. About 
a hundred of the love-poems in the Carmina burana belong to the 
type of erotic goliard lyric and may thus claim the schools of France 
as their birthplace, or what is the same thing for our purpose 
they were modeled upon songs which had originated there; they 

but the dried curds of homilies, proverbs, and gnomic verses, didactic works like A Father's 
Instruction and Paternoster, the Ormulum, Poema Morale, Bestiary, and Ancren Riwle, 
Layamon's Brut, saints' lives, religious allegories, and uninspired planctus. But one poem 
and one alone is sufficient to mark the existence in this age of freshness and originality. It 
is known to us in two MSS, but others of its kind are known to us in none. Again : " among 
the Cottonian manuscripts in the British Museum, a small quarto volume numbered Nero 
A. x contains the four Middle English poems known as Pearl, Cleanness, Patience, and Sir 
Gawayne and the Grene Knight. No single line in these poems has been discovered in any 
other manuscript" (Cambridge History of Eng. Lit., Vol. I, p. 357). Had this single MS not 
been found we should not possess three of the finest English poems of the fourteenth century, 
together with the "jewel of English mediaeval literature " (as Gaston Paris called Gawayne; 
Histoire litUraire de la France, Vol. XXX). 

1 Carmina burana, Nos. 40, 83; Dreves, Zeitschr.f. deut. Alt., Vol. XXXIX, pp. 363, 365; 
Wright, Early Mysteries (1838), p. 111. 

2 Cf. Carmina burana, Nos. 31-51, 53-57, 59, 60, 61, stanzas 9-16. 65, 78, 84, 89, 90, 95-98, 101-3, 
105-18, 120, 122-29, 131-34, 137, 139, 141-44, 147, 154-61, 163-68. This list has no absolute value 
and is merely provisional. Learned goliard pieces these poems are, but not always in their 
entirety, for in certain stanzas of some of them we find intercalations or allusions of the 
popular sort. Such material will be reverted to below, in our treatment of "popularizing 
Latin lyrics." 



were conditioned by the "French" spirit of their time. Without 
hesitation and without hair-splitting let us assign them to that 
country which appears to have first given them birth and vogue. 
It may, however, be acknowledged that there is a trace of guile 
in this ready surrender of the goliard songs to France. For they 
are no more the poems we are seeking than were the nugae ama- 
toriae of the schoolmen. Beautiful they are, many of them, but 
popular they are not, any of them. Dance-melodies are not heard 
in them. They have no establishable connection with the humble 
festivals and customs and speech of the people. Except in such 
instances as we shall find later on, where transmuted snatches of 
folk-song and vernacular tones intrude, goliard poems remain a 
learned thing, as far removed generally and generically from real 
life as the metrical faery romances of French Arthurian tradition. 
They are not racial, not autobiographic. Sprung like courtois 
poetry from new impulses, they soon grow, just as this poetry did, 
'universal" they become "denationalized." "Take ten lyric 
trouveres," said Louis Passy, "and you will not find ten men, but 
just one lone trouvere." 1 In like wise one goliard' s lyric is apt 
to resemble any and every other's. 


In the preceding chapter we differentiated two kinds of song, 
the amatory lyric of known authors and the erotic lyric of the 
wandering students assigning them both to twelfth -century 
France. There is no difference of opinion possible as to the first 
sort, the amatory lyric ; but it was suggested that the second sort, 
the erotic song, might be born in any individual instance outside 
of France. There are at least five methods which have been em- 
ployed by scholars to determine the country where such erotic 
songs originated, and it was my original intention to subject these 
pieces one by one to the five tests in order thus to marshal philo- 
logical evidence in support of the statement that certain goliard 
pieces hitherto ascribed to France might be won for Germany. 
But I soon found that the accumulation of detail which this process 

i Bibliotheque de Vficole des Chartes, Vol. XX (1858) , p. 1 ; cf . also B6dier, Revue des deux 
mondes (1894), p. 923, Jeanroy in Julleville's Histoire, Vol. I, p. 380. 



of research necessarily entailed threatened to bury the main argu- 
ment of my thesis so deep beneath a mass of debris that I could 
not expect even the reader trained to academic digging to recover 
it. I therefore have contented myself to allow French origin to 
any piece whose origin seemed uncertain, in order not to cloud the 
issue by petty doubtings. It is no essential part of my present 
endeavor to rescue mediaeval Latin lyrics for Germany; I want 
merely those that I may have after suspicion is stilled any songs 
which in no wise suggest a foreign source and which are found in 
a German MS I shall assume to be native and German. Lest I 
should be suspected of not taking into consideration the five tests 
in the case of any song I hereafter examine I cite and discuss them 
all in an appendix at the end of this study. One other matter 
before we proceed further: Schmeller's text of the Benedictbeuern 
MS is untrustworthy. Before undertaking my work I used all the 
titles given below to establish as correct a version as possible. 1 

The lyrics of love now left us in the Carmina burana number 
some thirty songs: 52, 61, 63, 79-82 (81 is to be divided into 
two pieces), 88, 92, 99, 100, 108 stanzas 5 and 6, 112, 114 stanza 
3, 115 stanza 1, 120 stanza 6, 121, 136, 138, 145, 146, 104, 119, 
130, 135, 140, 162. 

Six of these lyrics we may well assign to France, for they are 
Latin pastourelles : 52 Aestivali sub fervore, 61 Ludo cum Cae- 
cilia, 63 Exiit diluculo, 104 Florent omnes arbores, 119 Lucis 
orto sidere, and 120 Vere dulci mediante.* Such pastorals were 

1 Carmina bitrana, ed. Schmeller, 1847; fourth edition reprinted without change 1905 : 
Wilhelm Meyer, Fragmenta burana (1901), Ludus de Antichristo and Ursprung des Motetts 
(Gesammelte Abhandlungen (1905), Vols. I and II); Martin, Zeitschr. f. deut. Alt., Vol. XX 
(1876), pp. 46-69 ; R. M. Meyer, ibid., Vol. XXIX (1885) , pp. 121-236 ; Wustmann, ibid., Vol. XXXV 
(1891), pp. 328-43; Patzig, ibid., Vol. XXXVI (1892), pp. 183-203; Dreves, ibid., Vol. XXXIX 
(1895), pp. 363 ff. ; BObmer, ibid., Vol. XLIX (1907) , pp. 161 S. ; Bartsch, Romanisches Jahrbuch, 
Vol. XII (1881), pp. 1 ff.; Ilberg, Zeitschr. f. d. Ostr. Gymnasien, Vol. XL (1889), pp. 103 ff.; 
Ehrismann, Zeitschr. f. d. Phil., Vol. XXXVI (1904), pp. 396 ff.; Ltmdius, ibid., Vol. XXXIX 
(1907), pp. 337 ff.; Santangelo, Studi Romanzi, Vol. IV (1905), p. 299; WallenskOld, Memoires 
d. I. soc. neo-phil. a Helsingfors, Vol. I (1893), pp. 71 ff.; Ehrenthal, Studien zu den Liedern 
der Vaganten (1891) ; Peiper, Gaudeamus (1879)2; Qrober, Carmina clericorum (1880); Laist- 
ner, Golias (1879) ; Schreiber, Die Vagantenstrophe (1894) ; Dreves, Analecta hymnica, partic- 
ularly Vol. XXI (1895) ; further, variant texts of individual songs published from other MSS 
than that of Benedictbeuern by Wright, Grimm, Du Meril, Muldener, Haureau, etc. 

2 A pastourelle is a simple poem set in a rustic scene, graceful and trifling in tone, 
describing the meeting of a man of culture and an ingenue, generally a shepherdess. In no 
version that we have is this type of poem a volkslied, it is refined rather than simple, subtle 
rather than true. Curiously enough, the earliest example of the pastourelle is the Latin 



sung in Provence and North France probably as early as the first 
half of the twelfth century and it is thought to have been long 
after this time that they spread across Europe finally to appear in 
fourteenth-century Italy as madrigals. 1 

Another group of seven poems has been assigned to France 
because of allusions they contain. These are as follows: 

79 Congaudentes ludite; a simple dance-song of three quat- 
rains and refrain in which occurs the expression bela mia. But 
it is not these words which seem to betray its origin 2 so much 
as the antithesis the song emphasizes of crabbed age and fiery 
youth (after the manner of the French debat] and the tawdry 

song in the MS of St. Omer; cf. Mone, Archiv f. Kunde d. d. Vorzeit, Vol. VII (1838), p. 296; 
Du Meril (1847), p. 228; Fillet, Studien zur Pastourelle (1902), p. 9; Jeanroy, Origines, p. 515. 
For the history of this lyric form and complete bibliography, cf . the first chapter of Jean- 
roy 's book. 

1 Cf. Symonds, Renaissance in Italy, Vol. IV, p. 156. I do not quite understand why we 
may not imagine No. 61 to be Italian, for it is found in an Italian MS. Symonds felt that 
No. 52, with its verse sub olivae me decore detinebat mora, must have been written near Como 
or Qarda, although the facts apparently do not bear out his belief. " In the production of 
the songs of the wandering students, with their boisterous love of life, their fresh feeling for 
nature and their keen satire against the church, the Italians had no share at all, or at any 
rate a most insignificant one," says Gaspary (Italian Literature to the Death of Dante [1901], 
p. 45), and Straccali, Ronca, and Novati share this view. Ozanam, however, regarded the 
Altercatio Helenae et Ganymedis as Italian (Documents inedits pour servir a Vhistoire Iitt6- 
raire de Vltalie, p. 20) and Haur6au ascribes the De Phyllide et Flora to the same source 
(Notices et extraits,\ol. XXIX, Pt. 2, p. 308), Santangelo (Studio sulla poesia goliardica, pp. 
82 ft.) tries to prove a number of the Carmina burana Italian in coloring and in origin. It 
is perhaps unnecessary to say that the Suevi which Schmeller prints in the sixth stanza of 
No. 52 and which caused several scholars to assign the song to Germany was changed to 
saevi by Peiper and Laistner. 

Several other poems in the Carmina burana are believed by B. M. Meyer (loc. cit., 
pp. 222 f.) to be imitations of French pastourelles : Nos. 45 Grates ago Veneri, 568aevit aurae 
spiritus, 105 Tempus adest floridum, etc. No one of these pieces, however, can be copied from 
a pastourelle as the word is defined in the preceding note. My definition is based upon 
Jeanroy and G. Paris (Romania, Vol. V, p. 125). 

2 Unless we think a handful of words determine the nativity of a song. If we do, pray 
where were the following born? 

Deu sal misir bescher de vin, 
Tune eum osculamur. 
Wir enahten niht uf den Rin, 
Sed Bacho famulamur. No. 174. 

Urbs salva regia 

Trevir, urbs urbium 

Per quam lascivia 

Bedit ad gaudium, 

Florescit patria, 

Flore sodalium. 
Per dulzor! 

Her wirt, tragent her nuo win, 
Vrolich snl n wir bi dem sin. No. 181. 

Compare with these the song mentioned on p. 74. 



goliard phrase militemus Veneri. 1 The outcry of love with which 
the refrain ends, da hi zevaleria, has always sounded German in 
my ears when I remember various unintelligible juchzer which 
break forth from German popular poetry of love, but this is a 
mere matter of opinion and none can tell. 2 

80 Cur suspectum me tenet domina? The complaint of one 
suspected of sodomy; 3 five quatrains with the refrain Tort avers 
mei dama. These French words do not necessarily make a French- 
man of their author any more than the practically identical line 
in Hilary's Ad Petrum Abelardum converts the nationality of the 
latter, particularly as another phrase of the poem bespeaks Ger- 
man origin. 4 But the song is perhaps best thought of as com- 
posed at a French school. 5 

81 Juvenes amoriferi; a simple dance-song of two quatrains 
with refrain. Contains no French word, unless domicelli and 
domicellas be gallicisms. 6 

81a Doleo quod nimium; a Latin-Provengal love-song of seven 
six-versed stanzas. 7 

iMost of the poems that contain this phrase are suspected of learned and clerical 
origin: e.g., No. 31 militare Dioneo lari: 35 Veneris militiam proponere; 37 sic et Veneris 
militia ; 53 militandi studio Venus excitatnr ; 107 militemus simul Veneri; 124 signa Veneris 
militet ; 128 jam dudum amoris militem; 144 militetis Veneri, etc. 

2Jeanroy (Origines, p. 6, n. 3) thinks differently, as is to be expected. But E. M. 
Meyer, in speaking of two other juwezungen (125 lodircundeia, lodircundeia and 136 hyrca 
hyrce nazaza trillirivos) remarks : " the two refrains do not appear to be German because 
they are largely without the vowel a which is so predominant in German refrains" (loc. cit,, 
p. 189). 

3 Not the first clerk to report false suspicion in this regard. Cf. Hertz, Spielmannsbuch 
(1900), p. 376 : " Meretrices publicae ubique per vicos et plateas civitatis passim ad lupanaria 
sua clericos transeuntes quasi per violentiam pertrahebant. Quod si forte ingredi recusa- 
rent, confestim eos Sodomitas post ipsos conclamantes dicebant. Illud enim foedum et 
abominabile vitium adeo civitatem quasi lepra incurabilis et venenum insanabile occnpa- 
verat, quod honorificum reputabant, si quis publice teneret unam vel plures concubinas." 

* The debatable line nostra fuit Briciauuia afforded Grimm the conjecture that Breisgau 
was meant (Gedichte auf Friedr. I, p. 177), but Du Meril translated the word Bressia avia, 
i. e., remote Bresse: in this he is followed by Hubatsch (Lat. Vagantenlieder, p. 90) and eo 
French origin is given the piece. As if a German student away at school could not utter 
the preening statement : " Ah, Breisgau was free of this sort of infamy ! " 

5 As may have been other songs presumably written by German students like No. 82 
Dulce solum natalis patriae, 162 O comes amoris, dolor, and the Hospita in Oallia quoted 
above ; all songs of parting. To the French school should go No. 83 Rumor letalis which bids 
farewell to an unworthy mistress, although this song is found only in German MSS. 

Cf. Voigt, Quellen und Forschungen, Vol. XXV, p. 34. 

7 Cf. Fragmenta burana, p. 8, and Patzig (loc. cit., p. 197) for emended text. The song 
81a is made by patching together No. 169 and the last six stanzas of 81. 



83 Rumor letalis; a song of farewell to a faithless mistress in 
three eight-versed stanzas, three quatrains, and three stanzas of 
five verses each. 1 

84 Tange sodes cytharam; a pendant to the above. The 
faithless mistress has been replaced by a more modest love. Four 
eight- versed stanzas and four of six lines each ; nasty in tone 
toward the end. 2 

88 Tempus instat floridum; the complaint of a deserted girl. 
Sorrows for the lover who has fled in Franciam; six six-versed 
stanzas prefaced by a nature introduction of three lines and refrain. 

Now were it not for this last poem I should not object to sur- 
rendering to French originals and French models all the above 
songs. Who cares in any large sense whether higher criticism 
assigns one quatrain more or less to this country or that, because 
the sweetheart is called bela mia instead of Flora mea, because 
hyrca, hyrce nazaza is not so vowel-a-f ul as tandaradei, because 
Briciauuia seems to a Frenchman to be Bressia avia rather than 
Brisigavia, or because domicellas is gravely averred to be Mam- 
sels and not Jungfern! It hurts somewhat, I confess, to give 
over No. 83 so easily. There is no allusion therein to school or 
learning, no classical lore or mythological imagery, no unreal fig- 
ure of speech. It is direct and tuneful as few Latin songs ever 
written, one of the few mediaeval poems I know where the Roman 
tongue flows as smoothly and truly as if spoken by an Augustan 
author. But we give it up for a most uncritical reason the 
reason that has satisfied many an investigator in mediaeval fields : 

1 Also found in a Stuttgart MS of the thirteenth century ; cf . Dreves, Zeitschr. /. deut. 
Alt., Vol. XXXIX, p. 363. Symonda ( Wine, Women and Song, p. 129) says of the poem : " A 
remarkable specimen of the songs written for a complicated melody. The first eight lines 
seem set to one tune; in the next four that tune is slightly accelerated, and a double rhyme 
is substituted for a single one in the tenth and twelfth verses. The five concluding lines go 
to a different kind of melody, and express in each stanza a changed mood of feeling." 
Lines 17, 34, and 51 rhyme. 

2 Intricate in rhyme-scheme like the preceding poem. Jeanroy was able to clear up the 
meaning of four lines of it which had hitherto defied adequate translation : 

Mitt am earn in ambulis, 
Et castigabo virgulis, 
Tangam earn stimulis, 
Ut facio juvenculis. 

Vinciam, si consults. 

The comparison of the mistress with a steed would appear to stamp sufficiently this poem 
as of French extraction (cf . Jeanroy, Origines, pp. 53, 477) . 




the poem seems to be too sure and clever, too gelungen to be 
written by a German pen. 

Personally I weary of the doctrine that German poets during 
the twelfth and thirteenth centuries were a trifle naive and stupid, 
and therefore unable to achieve a Latin song quite so well as 
their French brethren. I will not exactly say that this is not so, 
especially if the song be a pretentious performance full of scholas- 
tic phrasing and formula, and I acknowledge to a sense of awe 
when critics play high trump cards like Walter of Chatillon and 
Hugo of Orleans, St. Bernard and Abelard and Peter of Blois, 
Hildebert of Lavardin (who has left us no lyric line more sincere 
than the hexameters of Fortunatus) and the rest of the brilliant 
company of ecclesiastics and schoolmen whose lyric production 
we have so largely to take on faith. 

But if Walter did write the St. Omer songs, if Hugo did 
devote three living but rough poems to the courtesan Flora, they 
are none of them instinct with the feeling of the Rumor letalis; 
a piece so spontaneous in emotion, so flexible in meter that 
Symonds can compare it with Byron's When We Two Parted as 
a close analogue. 

Rumor letalis 
Crebro me vulnerat, 
Meisque malis 
Dolores aggregat, 
Me male multat 
Vox tui criminis, 
Quae jam resultat 
In mundi terminis. 

Invida fama 
Tibi novercatur; 
Cautius ama, 
Ne comperiatur. 

Quod agis, age tenebris; 
Proctil a famae palpebris 
Laetatur amor latebris 
Et dulcibus illecebris 
Cum murmure jocoso. 

Nulla notavit 
Te turpis fabula, 
Dum nos ligavit 
Amoris copula, 
Sed frigescente 
Nostra cupidine, 
Sordes repente 
Funebri crimine. 

Fama laetata 
Novis hymenaeis, 
Ruit in plateis. 

Patet lupanar omnium 
Pudoris in palatium, 
Nam virginale lilium 
Marcet a tactu vilium 
Commercio proboso. 



3 Verbo rogantes 

Nunc plango florem Removes hostili; 

Aetatis tenerae, Munera dantes 

Nitidiorem Foves in cubili " 

Veneris sidere, Illos abire praecipis 

Tune columbinam A quibus nihil accipis; 

Mentis dulcedinem, Caecos claudosque recipis, 

Nunc serpentinam Viros illustres decipis 

Amaritudinem. Cum melle venenoso. 

I find nowhere else in the Latin lyrics of these times so earn- 
est an apostrophe to a faithless companion. And the longer one 
searches, the more clear does this become. Let us read a few 
lines of Hugo's tirade against Flora who has left him, lines 
from a poet whom Wilhelm Meyer rightly considers eigenartig, 
vortrefflich, lebenspriihend : 

Quid luges lirice, quid meres pro meretrice? 
Respira retice neque te dolor urat amice ! 
Scimus et est aliquid quia te tua Flora reliquit. 
Sed tu ue cures, possunt tibi dicere plures, 
Qui simili more simili periere dolore. 
Teque dolor scorti dabit afflictum cito morti, 
Ni dure sorti respondes pectore forti. 1 

There is food for reflection in the thought that we must deliver 
our poem of parting to France, although we can discover no other 
French song like it, although it hints in no way at this country 
or its institutions, although it is found only in two German MSS 
and all for the reason above given which a moment's study 

1 " O poet, thou must not grieve thus over Flora the runaway courtesan. It is all very 
uncomfortable for thee of course, but don't worry to death. First, there's no help for it 
anyway, and then besides let the muse comfort yon that sort of girl is not worth it. 
Listen, you inexperienced person, and learn of what clay such a maiden is made. Good 
things to eat and drink, pretty clothes and other rich presents are the only matters that 
count with her; they outweigh your person and your poems. If you cease giving her 
presents, she seeks out another patron who is generous and laughs at you ; begin your gifts 
again and she returns to you. She is tender for money's sake, so that she can cajole much 
from you ; how you secure it, if you ruin yourself in getting it that's all one to her." Cf. 
Meyer, GOttinger Nachrichten (1907), p. 131. Hugo is hurt evidently in his tenderest spot 
his pride. He wishes to worm out of his difficulty somehow and escape the malicious pity 
of his friends. So he pretends that he does not_care much and publishes the woman as a 
common prostitute in order to save his own face. He succeeds but badly, although he 
gains here and there a certain pothouse effectiveness. If we compare this crude satire on 
fallen women, this first cousin to Golias, De conjiige non ducenda, with Rumor letalis, the 
lyric earnestness and truth of the latter at once becomes manifest. 



convinces us is no reason at all. So set are we in our belief that 
France dominated the mediaeval lyric except for the crest of Ger- 
man minnesang. 

But No. 88 I shall not yield to France. In this, the most 
beautiful or at least the most touching song which the Latin lyric 
of the Middle Ages has to offer, there is ample evidence of Ger- 
man authorship. When Jeanroy associates it with French pieces 
dealing with the same theme, he merely shows how great the gulf 
is which separates the two. Again I am going to take space to 
print the whole poem in order to establish my point the better; 
and because wherever I have come across it except in Schmeller's 
insufficient text the introductory stanza has been omitted, as being 
but some chance anh&ngsel. 

It is this very prelude that gives dramatic tone to the poem! 
It offers us the nature-background for the passion which the next 
moment will unroll before us, it strengthens the romantic irony 
which dwells in the sudden break of mood that the coming lines 
bring. Heine, taught by the simple art of the schnaderhiipfel, 1 
never gripped us with more sudden force than does this planctus. 

I 2 

Tempus instat floridum, 2 Hue usque, me miseram! 

Cantus crescit avium, Rem bene celaveram, 

Tellus dat solatium. Et amavi callide. 

Eia, qualia Rea tandem patuit, 

Sunt amoris gaudia! Nam venter intumuit, 

Partus instat gravidae. 

1 For a discussion of the theory that Heine got a certain use of the " pathetic fallacy " 
directly from South-German popular quatrains, see my " Heine and the Schnaderhftpfel," 
Studies in Popular Poetry (1902), pp. 13-23. In a reference to this study a year or so ago 
Walzel announced his intention to teach me better ways. I shall, I trust, never be unready 
to receive new light on any subject, but the odd thing about this matter is that I agree 
with Walzel as to Heine's debt to popular poetry, and it is only through a misapprehension 
of my words that he regards me as an antagonist. 

2 There are a few similar examples of stimmungsbrechung in German minnesang, the 
most effective of which perhaps is Ulrich von Winterstetten's Sumer wil uns aber bringen . 

Summer brings again before us 

Trees in leaf and birds in chorus ; 

Flowers are 09010 to clothe the plain. 

Forth from winter's fetters sally 

Heath and meadow, hill and valley : 

Roses red are seen again. 

All the world to mirth is turning 

Only I alone am mourning. 

Cf . Nicholson, Old German Love Songs (1907) , p. 129. The restoration of the Latin text as 
here given is based upon suggestions of Wnstmann and Peiper, and especially of Lundius, 
who I believe for the first time recovered the proper form of the last two stanzas. 



3 Nutibus me indicant, 

Hinc mater me verberat, Dignam rogo judicant, 

Hinc pater improperat, Quod semel peccaverim. 
Ambo tractant aspere. 
Sola domi sedeo, 

Egredi non audeo, Quid percurram singula? 

Nee in palam ludere. Ego sum in fabula, 

^ Et in ore omnium. 

_ Hoc dolorem cumulat, 

Cum ions egredior, ~ , , , 

.... Quod amicus exulat 

A cunctis inspicior, T> -n j 11 

_ ' _. Propter illud paululum. 

Quasi monstrum fuenm. 

Cum vident hunc uterum, 7 

Alter pulsat alterum, 

c,., , , . . Ob patns saevitiam 

Silent dum transienm. 

Kecessit in Franciam 

6 A fi nil jus ultimis. 

Semper pulsant cubito, Ex eo vim patior, 

Me designant digito, Jam dolore morior, 

Acsi mirum fuerim. Semper sum in lacrimis. 1 

There is of course no need of assigning to a French source this 
ballad of a pregnant girl merely because it contains the line reces- 
sit in Franciam. The argument of the poem is as follows: 

Gretchen has been betrayed by him who loves her. Beaten by 
her mother and cursed by her father, she still does not dare walk 
abroad, for her neighbors nudge one another and make mouths as 
she passes by. For her single lapse from honesty she is adjudged 
worthy of the stake. Why prolong the tedious tale? She has 
become a mock and her breath is choked with weeping ; the tears 
flow faster at the thought that a father's cruelty has driven the 
lover off to France. x 

Now there are at least two reasons why the lover is thought of 
as fleeing to France. First, this is his native home, as German 
folk-poetry has often considered it the birth-place of light-of -loves. 
Es war ein Buhlefrech genung/ War erst aus Frankreich kommen 

1 While the color of this stanza may perhaps not be said to be specifically German, it 
can hardly fail to remind us of many commonplaces in the volkslied, such as 

Nn mag ich numme singen 
Und mag kein freuden ban, 
Ich hot mir ein bulen erworben, 
Den mass ich faren Ian. 

-Uhland, Volkslieder, No. 36. 



says Goethe, but we do not therefore deem his song modeled on 
a French original, nor need we the poem in Carmina burana; in 
fact we should think it not so, just because France is mentioned. A 
French song would presumably make the lover who did the betray- 
ing an English or Italian lad. The other reason for mentioning 
France is that it is a foreign land terra incognita to the fearful 
German maid and so seems the more terrible as a place of exile 
for one whom she still loves. She has heard perhaps of the disso- 
lute life there carried on by students and clerks and churchmen 
rumors that have been much multiplied and magnified by more 
than one swaggering Meier Helmbrecht who has returned from 
his travels to strut about his native village. Again, then, the 
mention of France has a subtle poetic value which we immediately 
recognize but which tends to remove the song from its implied 
French origin. 

But while these two reasons do not absolutely do away with the 
possibility of French origin, they still do not, on the other hand, 
prove German birth for the piece. Another and much more con- 
vincing reason does this. In all the length and breadth of medi- 
aeval Latin lyric singing we have no other poem dealing with this 
theme which betrays half the simple sincerity and directness of 
this complaint. This assertion is not based upon subjective 
appreciation of the piece in hand, although that would not be here 
an unsafe guide; it is based on a search through all available 
printed material. Such search establishes the point that however 
betrayal of the girl may be viewed warned against, guarded 
against, stormed against, or, as it generally is, treated mockingly 
and brutally, bestiali more it is never but this once made the 
theme of a dolorous song. Here again, as in the case of the verna 
suspiria feminae and the "Nun's Complaint," we have a unique 

The source of it, I believe, lies close at hand. Either it is one 
of the vernacular frauenlieder, examples of which we have in Ger- 
man minnesang and some of which find their direct origin in the 
volkslied; or the source may be the personal experience of the 
poet himself something suffered or seen by him. For the first 
we should posit a rough or maimed snatch such as 



Komm her, lieb Janche, 
Komm her zu mir. 
Es 1st geschehen, 
Es 1st vorbei; 

beautifully deepened and environed by an individual atmosphere. 
For the other possibility we should imagine a poet like the sym- 
pathizing younger Schiller of the Kindsmdrderin, or a Stephen 
Phillips when writing The Wife. Nor is this latter supposition 
nullified by two or three turns of speech in our poem which critics 
feel to militate against the pathetic value of the piece : collide, for 
instance, nam venter intumuit, etc. They do not indicate to my 
mind either rawness of statement or boastfulness of attitude on the 
part of the deceived girl. Consider: 

The world is gay with flowers and love requited. Surrender 
to it has brought on an unheeding head shame, misery untold, and 
the end of all things. A girl has lost more than life ; she does 
not reason, she seeks no comfort in excuse or protestation, she 
feels no remorse. In a short blunt fashion she reviews the story 
as she has done a hundred times before: she has loved "skilfully," 
her mother strikes her, she is a mock, her love is fleeing, and so 
over and over again. How could a mediaeval poet better picture 
the scene ; how would a mediaeval maiden suffer. In just this 
way, or with a flood of protestation and wringing of hands? 

There is another song which a Frenchman is supposed to have 
written because of the verse placet plus Franciaeregina: 1 51 the 
serenade to Flower of Thorn. Then why not ascribe to an English- 
man No. 108a: 

| Waere diu werlt alle min 

Von deme mere unze an den Rin, 
Des wolt ih mih darben, 
Daz diu chilnegin von Engellant 
Laege an minen armen. 

The lady of both 51 and 108 is Eleanor of Poitou, the ideal type 
of beauty to two generations of poets. In neither case surely can 
mention of her indicate the provenience of such verses. Would 

1 Although Mr. Band believes one might rather reason that France is not the author's 
country, but a land idealized and remote. " Persarum vigui rege beatior was not written by 
a Persian." 



it have been just tactful, or safe, in either song to have chosen in 
her place some German princess? But again, as before, we meet 
in No. 51 turns of expression which may speak for Germany. The 
girl is described as prudens, which is klug, and gracilis, which is 
schlank; she is pulchrior lilio vel rosa, which is simpler and more 
direct than the customary rosa rubicundior, lilio candidior (136) 
or nivei candoris, rosei ruboris (118). The world is well lost for 
her, even the queen of France. 1 Death impends if she does not 
cure him by a kiss, as ever in the volkslied where mund conven- 
iently rhymes with gesund* It does not seem hardy to believe 
the germ of much of this song is a volkslied, however much Latin- 
ized the remainder of the song may be. We should not perhaps 
be overready to translate Latin songs back into German popular 
diction in order to establish a close connection between them, but 
on the other hand we must not studiously avoid the thickening 
traces of this diction which is now to meet our eyes, simply 
because it is found in Latin lyrics. 


i Who reads these lines without thinking of the 'vieille chanson' quoted by Alceste in 
Le Misanthrope ? 

Si le roi m'avait donn6 
Paris sa grand' ville, 
Et qu'il me fallnt quitter 
L'amour de ma mie, 
Je dirais an roi Henri : 
"Reprenez votre Paris. 
J'aime mieux ma mie, o gu6 ! 
J'aime mieux ma mie ! " 

although this thought is one of the commonplaces of mediaeval poetry ; cf . Diez, Poesie der 
Troubadours (1883)2, p. 217, who quotes instances from Provencal, French, and Italian, as 
well as from German. 

Cf. also Carmina burana, Nos. 42, 102, 136a. 


Modern Philology 

VOL. VI October, iqo8 No. 2 



The richest anthology of mediaeval Latin songs, the Carmina 
burana, has been very generally assigned to the goliards. This 
is unwarrantable. There is no evidence either external or internal 
to lead us to suspect goliardic origin for much of the colorful 
musicality of these erotic lyrics. The cause for the mistake is 
not, however, far to seek. 

Since the epoch-making article of GKesebrecht it has been 
commonly believed that there once existed a sodality of wander- 
ing students, or, what amounts to the same thing, that all the 
discoverable body of Latin lyric poetry during the Middle Ages 
was written by a cultured, clerical stripe of people who were in 
the main subject to similar social and literary traditions. With 
this false belief in mind, Hubatsch therefore follows out the 
characteristics which separate goliard poetry, on the one hand 
from vernacular poetry (that of the jongleur and the spielmann), 
on the other hand from ecclesiastical poetry, and gains criteria 
which are worth little or nothing, because they are only half the 
truth. Half the truth, since his conclusions are correct for only 
part of the material he is studying, for the songs of the wander- 
ing students which cling to classical and churchly molds and 
formulae. For such a song as No. 88 which we have just studied at 

137] 97 IMoDEBN PHILOLOGY, October, 1908 


length, for Latin lyrics which reflect simple volkslieder, Hubatsch's 
conclusions are wrong. 1 

Let us drive a nail here quickly. Hubatsch says: 

By their profession the goliards were on the same plane with the 
jongleurs and the spielleute ; they were to the clergy what the latter were 
to the laymen. But the goliard felt himself quite another person than the 
jongleur ; at all events outward circumstances placed a deep gulf between 
them. With but few exceptions the jongleur and spielmann were con- 
sidered outlaws, while the goliard possessed his clerical privileges, which 
gave him important advantages over others, besides which as a scholar he 
contrasted with the singer who lacked a learned culture. The goliards 
are viri literati and wish to consort only with viris literatis. This 
exclusive adherence to a formal culture permeates all their poetry and 
forms a sharp contrast between it and that of the laity. Diction and con- 
tent, comparisons, figures of speech, poetic mythology, the whole manner 
of expression in their poems is fundamentally different from that of the 
lay poet. 

Now let us choose a simple Latin dance-song from the Carmina 
burana and see what becomes of the viri literati. 

Ver redit optatum Juvenes ut flores 

Cum gaudio, Accipiant, 

Flore decoratum Et se per odores 

Purpureo, Reficiant, 

Aves edunt cantus Virgines assumant 

Quam dulciter, Alacriter, 

Revirescit nemus, Et eant in prata 

Cantus est amoenus Floribus ornata 

Totaliter. Communiter. 

1 This failure to differentiate between learned and unlearned Latin poetry has caused con- 
fusion from the beginning. Scherer and Wackernagel were right in asserting that the flour- 
ishing Latin poetry of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries harked back to an earlier period 
of bloom when the knowledge of this language was widely disseminated (cf. Scherer, Gesch. 
d. deut. Dichtung im xi. u. xii. Jhdt., p. 5; Anzeigerf. deut. Alt., Vol. I, p. 202 ; Wackernagel, 
Gesch.d. deut. Lit., p. 70; Ebert, Allgem. Gesch. d. Lit. des Mittelalters, Vol. Ill, p. 347: 
"The Latin songs of the Cambridge MS because of the popular character of their themes 
and their form show how far into the background the native language was crowded in the 
cultured circles of Germany at that time"). Scherer could thus assume that the songs of the 
wandering students had in Germany a long time of preparation behind them. It was like- 
wise right for him to say that under the Salic emperors the understanding of Latin greatly 
diminished among laymen and that the Latin lyric practically disappeared from con- 
scious literature until it was reawakened through the indirect influence of the French 
schools. But immediately thereafter to remark with Scherer and Laistner ( Golius, p. 99) that 
mediaeval Latin love-poetry preceded that of Germany, northern France, and Provence, that 
the Carmina burana are nearer folk-poetry than the songs of any other old German manu- 
script this is to deal with matters en bloc when the only possible helpfulness of treatment 
lies in discerning analysis of them. 



We have here a song that is taken almost word for word from 
vernacular lays. R. M. Meyer has brought together from Neid- 
hart a suggestive list of poetical phrases which indicate with 
certainty the sort of source we must seek for such Latin strophes. 
Not that they are taken from Neidhart far from it! But some 
Latin minnesang like some German minnesang is derived from a 
common basis: the lyric volkslied. 1 

A narrow examination of the lyric pieces of the Carmina burana, 
those poems, I mean, which deal with spring and love and wine, 
will convince us that only occasionally are they songs that have 
been written down free-hand in answer to the call of the moment 
that held the poet in its grasp. They are rather suggestive of a 
score of different things which served directly as models for com- 
position: church-hymns, sometimes, and school poems; classical 
verses excerpted from some favorite anthology, 2 or volkslieder 
known from childhood. Thus, nature introductions as naive as 
any in popular song nestle close to labored expositions of the vis 
naturae and to mythological personifications taught in the gram- 
mar schools. This teaches us that only seldom were these lyric 
pieces composed by al fresco poets who moved sturdily and 

1 R. M. Meyer (Zeitschr. f. deut. Alt., Vol. XXIX, p. 224) says : "There exists an important 
interrelationBhip between German folk-poetry and the pieces of the wandering students. 
The vagi were after all children of the people and had grown up among the games and dances 
of their home. With equal certainty we must assume an influence of volkslieder upon the 
goliard songs and vice versa." For a more general development of the same statement cf. 
Schneider, Das musikalische Lied in geschichtlicher JSntwicklung (1863), Vol. I, pp. 193 ff., 
" Die Fahrenden als Vermittler zwischen Volkslied und Kunstlied." 

2 So much has been made of the contrast between the present age, when the literary pro- 
ductions of widely separated times and peoples surround us in such immeasurable abundance, 
and the Middle Ages, when oral transmission by way of priest and minstrel was practically 
the sole source of spiritual nourishment for him who sought after culture, that we are apt to 
give too little weight to the part played by books and school texts during the "dark" and 
"middle" centuries. Anthologies and MSS of excerpta and exempla bound the past to the Mid- 
dle Ages as firmly, if not as clearly, as printed books bind it to us, and there is no more need of 
assuming continuity of oral tradition when we find a mediaeval poem derived from an earlier 
source than there is to assume the same thing when we discover Jonson's Song to Celia to 
be the reworking of phrases in a sophist's love-letter. Laukhardt's " beautiful song Ecce 
quam bonum brayed forth on the street to the vast joy of the ftiessen nymphs" (Laukhardts 
.... Leben und Schicksale [1792], Vol. I, p. 96 ; Annalen der Universitat Schilda [1798], Vol. 
I, p. 86) is due of course to the chance reawakening of a forgotten ninth-century hymn (Mone, 
Lateinische Hymnen des Mittelalters [1853], Vol. I, pp. 393 f .) and not to the parodying of one 
which had been sung during the intervening nine centuries; Traube has shown that the 
student song, which Kopp and Schmitz presumed to be written and sung in the Fulda cloister 
school at some Eastertide during the ninth century, derives from a Eoman prototype of the 
fifth century (Neues Archiv, Vol. XXV, pp. 625 f.), but this means simply that a thieving 
teacher got his verses from a book, not that he had ever heard them sung in his life before 
he wrote them down. 



unconsciously in their Latin medium; it was rather a thing at 
second hand for most of them. Archpoet and Golias might utter 
the Cum in orbem, the Aestuans interius, and the Utar contra vitia, 
as if they were to the manner born, Walter of Chatillon might 
tread the stately measures of his Propter Sion non tacebo with care- 
less ease, Simon Chevre d'or and Hugo of Orleans might retell the 
Fall of Ilium with never a hesitant moment ; but the real lyric pieces 
are of another brood. They are put together of patches and the 
seams show. 1 Often we may not speak of a song as a whole but 
must try to divide it into its various parts, to see what underlies 
it. But while this makes any study of such poems more difficult 
it frequently gladdens us, for we learn at times that part of it, or 
perhaps the entire substratum of it, is a volkslied. And what an 
insight we then gain of the men who wrote these songs! A new 
class of author is apparent in them; one that we should, truly, 
expect to find in any age except the sort of time scholars have 
imagined twelfth and thirteenth centuries to be. Not alone 
beriihmte Professoren must we add to the goliards as the writers 
of Latin verse in the Middle Ages, not alone "ecclesiastics, jurists, 
physicians, and teachers," but, also, the third type of person whom 
the modern world denominates just "a common, ordinary poet." 
Not clerks and students were they always, with the Latin learning 
of their time at their fingers' ends. Often self-taught and barely 
taught German poets 2 who lightened the burdens of the day by 

i No further proof of this important fact is needed than that adduced by R. M. Meyer in 
his oft-cited article. No. 107 in the Carmina burana, for instance, is found to be actually 
without a single original line to bless itself with, and for other songs in this collection 
Meyer's remarkable industry has discovered so many parallels both Latin and German that 
one marvels at their number. 

Sometimes a song is nothing more than a cento of lines from other well-known poems. 
Thus the song Hac in die rege nato (Analecta hymnica, Vol. XX, p. 123) is wholly made up of 
the initial lines of twenty-six conductus poems, as Wilhelm Meyer discovers (Gesammelte 
Abhandlungen, Vol. II, p. 329). 

2 Scholars have at times distinguished with some sharpness between the Latin poems 
such as were in vogue at the great schools of France and the goliard songs: cf. Del isle, 
Annuaire bulletin de la Sociiti de Vhistoire de France (1885), p. 103; Droves, Analecta 
hymnica, Vol. XX (1895), p. 8; Meyer, GOttinger Nachrichten (1907), p. 88. But none of them, 
so far as I remember, has cared to add a thirdjclass of poets to the well-established divisions 
of noted teachers in the schools and the graceless ne'er-do-wells. This third type of authors 
we should not seek in any one profession or clan, but among any and all classes of people 
with sufficient culture to borrow, remake, or sing newly forth a few doggerel stanzas of 
simplest Latin. Some of these authors, to be sure, must have had a smattering of the Latin 
of the schools else they could not have moved in the foreign medium. One cannot exactly 



reproducing songs of spring and love. Nor can we call the result 
ill, for a lightness and sprightliness is not unusual in these songs, 
a cadence and swing which surprises and takes us captive. 

This musicality need not, however, cause us wonder. German 
poets have at all times caught the secret of it. It is true that 
certain of the more ostentatious poems in the Carmina burana may 
be part-songs taken from, or based upon, the motet collections of 
France, with their two and three different systems of musical 
notation; but it is equally true that certain of the simpler songs 
are not. They sung themselves as satisfactorily out of the setting 
of popular mediaeval airs as they do today to the sound of In der 
grossen Seestadt Leipzig, Ich bin der Doktor JEisenbart, Prince 
Eugen der edle Bitter, Fuchs, du hast die Gans gestohlen. 
And let us take heed not to ridicule without good cause the 
plagiarism of these south German poets and call their work 
cobbling. For they were without exception trying to do what 
nineteenth-century German poets have done: raise a volkslied 
to the state and condition of accepted artistic verse by incor- 
porating some of it, or some of its diction and figurative utterance 
at least, in new poems of their own. And the result in both cases 
has justified the means. 

It is doubtless best that at this point I tell what I mean by 
volkslied, a term that from now on I shall have to use with increas- 
ing frequency. I do not believe it to be a song composed by a 
number of people acting in concert (Grimm: "das Volk dichtet;" 
Gummere: "communal song"), nor do I conceive it as a poem 
sung by the lower classes alone ("people" in the sense of "popu- 
lace" or "rabble"), nor do I think it necessarily a naive compound 
of homely diction which mirrors the simple processes of the unlet- 
tered mind (Herder, Burger, Brentano, and Krejci). A volkslied 
is merely a song which we historically know, or assume, has proven 
to be very popular. 

It is not written by a humble man of the people who dwells 
aside from the crowded centers of life, although such a song once 
learned this man may continue it for generations. Impulse to 

speak of "native woodnotes wild" when a German, say, writes Latin. But except for this 
there is in certain dainty bits of the Carmina burana no hint of either learned or dissolute 



authorship is lacking, reserve encases him like a shell. The 
unlettered and unalert do not achieve poetic coherence and build 
emotional expression out into even the the simplest art-forms. 
The unique effectiveness and beauty of German popular balladry 
is due neither to small and isolated mediaeval communities work- 
ing mysteriously together in the throes of lyrical composition, nor 
yet to unimaginative men inspired to spasmodic effort. For such 
inspiration did not dwell in the mediaeval environment except 
stirred crowds gathered, unless the initial impulse be of another 
world than this and we* imagine a succession of German Caedmons 
whose lips were regularly opened by sense and sight of divinity. 
If we should find in segregated communities today the Tennessee 
mountaineers, for instance a simple lyric of power and beauty, 
of mock and humor and suffering, then I could imagine that in 
days of yore similar submerged processes went forward. But, 
failing this, there is for me now as ten years ago but one defini- 
tion of volkslied: a song, from whatever source, sung for a long 
time by all kinds of people. 1 

Who would it be that evolved liedlein which the people cher- 
ished and curiously clung to ? Some one artist driven thereto by 
the spirit of his surroundings. Who would carry them from one 
countryside to another? Most often and most continuously the 
minstrel. It would be he who was most desirous to add to his 
stock from that of other minstrels fresh home from their travels. 
And he, we may be sure, it was who collected Latin songs as well as 
German ones, in order that no audience might go away from his 
singing hungry. 

But why should we call this minstrel "goliard"? If we mean 
by this word a cultured product of the French schools, a finished 
though degenerate baccalaureus artium, we see how wrong its 
application occasionally is. Such a person did not compose and 
sing many of the popularizing ballads which we have cited 
throughout this study, which we are to add to below. But if, 
on the contrary, we would imply by "goliard" anyone during 
twelfth and thirteenth centuries who sang Latin dance-couplets 
modeled on the reigen of the village festivals, who indited pastoral 

'Cf. my discussion of this in Journal of Germanic Philology, Vol. Ill (1899). 



songs and tagelieder, lovers' parting-songs and ballads of deserted 
maidens, then we employ a single term too loosely. For it indi- 
cates everybody who caroled forth during the Middle Ages a lyric 
phrase in the lingua Romano, between the Scotch borders and 

No. It is best to retain "goliard" in the sense that till now 
has been generally accepted, viz., a wandering student possessed 
of a particular sort of training that shone through his songs. 
And such a one wrote all the amatory stanzas in the MSS of St. 
Omer and Queen Christine and practically all in the Cambridge 
MS. But at least a third of the erotic lyrics in the Carmina 
burana betray the work of another sort of person. This we shall 
now specify with some detail. The clearest way to handle the 
material, I believe, is to study the analogies and the differences 
between goliard poems and popular Latin songs in a series of short 
chapters designed to show forth succinctly the most marked con- 
trasts which they offer: (I) Learned Folk-poetry; (II) Treat- 
ment of Love-themes; (III) Treatment of Nature; (IV) Classi- 
cal and Popular Allusions. 1 


Once upon a time a critic bethought him of early mediaeval 
times in Europe and after meditating deeply said : "I know nothing 
of those ages which mean nothing" whereupon he turned the 
searchlight of his mind to more illuminable business. I confess 
o a similar state of ignorance regarding the specious phrase 
learned folk-poetry," for it means nothing that I have discovered. 
This phrase is of course a translation of the German gelehrte 
volksdichtung which is a winged word persistently used by stu- 
dents of the mediaeval Latin lyric and must therefore be reckoned 
with. I believe its wings should be clipped. 

The use of the caption sprang from the following conditions: 
Goliard poetry is permeated by a learned culture which offers a 

1 Hnbatsch has a chapter on the analogies which goliard poetry shows to popular poetry 
(Lat. Vagantenlieder, pp. 41 ff. ; cf. also Steinthal, Zeitschr. f. VOlkerpsychologie, Vol. XI 
[1879], pp. 39 ff.), but he deals only with the longer pieces which are not lyric! He asserts 
that it would carry him too far to treat of the shorter songs of the wandering students and 
therefore gravely chooses his material just where it can least be found : in the Confessio, 
the Utar contra vitia, and the Propter Sion. 



sharp contrast to the unclerical or lay songs of the period. Dic- 
tion and content, comparisons and figures, poetic mythology the 
whole manner of expression in these student songs is fundament- 
ally different from those of the lay -poets. 1 But none the less does 
this learned poetry show a certain kinship to vernacular popular 
poetry. It borrows freely from, and makes large use of, traditional 
material, maintains a conventionalized symbolism in thought and 
expression, crystallizes certain turns of speech into formulae. 2 I 
is anonymous, is prone to generalize rather than present the indi- 
vidual view of a certain author, fits therefore the need of the many 
more than it does the casual exigency of any single class. Finally, 
it at times exhibits something of the terseness and carelessness of 
detail which is the hallmark of lyric popular poetry in all ages. 

Then was the phrase "learned folk-poetry" begotten to char- 
acterize the Latin efforts of the schools which contained here and 
there a slight alloy of the matter and manner of vernacular lyric 
verse. As if one should rename some precious metal because of 
its admixture with an adulterant that gives it currency in com- 
merce. Lyrical alloy veins most of the oldest German epic narra- 
tives, as surely as it does the Anglo-Saxon elegiac fragments. 3 
Many years ago Mullenhoff called attention to the tones of melting 
tenderness which sound in certain old Norse poems : in the death- 
greeting which Hialmar sends IngibiSrg (Hervararsaga) , in the 
Volundarquida, the conclusion of the second song of Helgi and 
Sigrun, the opening five stanzas of the third Sigurdarqui^a, etc. 4 
But if he cited these passages as proof that there was lyricality of 
expression in the heroic age, he did not coin a phrase for them 
in toto such as "epic volkslieder." For he knew that they were 
withheld from being lyrics by the unlyric clan-appeal they made 
and were intended to make upon their auditors. 5 Nothing in their 
verse structure or in any externality of manner and meter pre- 

1 Cf. Hubatsch, op. cit., p. 22. 

* Hubatsch, ibid., p. 41. 

3 Cf. KOrtingr, Die Anf&nge der Renaistanceliteratur in Italien (1884), Part I, pp. 86 f. ; 
Allen, Modern Philology, Vol. Ill, p. 438. 

*Cf. Mtlllenhoff-Scherer, Denkm&ler (1892)3, Vol. II, p. 154. 

51 believe this point has never been more reasonably or deftly argued than by Mr. 
Gummere in his "Primitive Poetry and the Ballad," Modern Philology, Vol. I (1903), 
pp. 221 ff . 



vented such songs from being called folk-lyrics; they have color 
and musicality of rhythm, a soft melancholy and a dreamy roman- 
ticism, but epic they remain, ballads they are because of the imper- 
sonal, unindividual, communal background that is found in them. 

Similarly does one speak of "ecclesiastical folk-songs" (geist- 
liche volkslieder} . This phrase may serve I do not care 
when a churchman like Luther writes a hymn which encircles 
the earth and outlasts time ; or when contrafacta hymns are made 
by the easy process of word substitution in Von fernen Landen 
komm ich her, Innsbruck, ich muss dich lassen, 1 although this 
latter process generally results in doubtful popularity. But to 
term ecclesiastical folk-song any of the stilted and metrical Latini- 
zation of vernacular lays is again to speak by the book and not 
by the word of truth. 2 

Similarly we meet in goliardic poetry of high and low degree 
occasional muffled suggestions of lyric volkslieder. But it is 
grievous because of this to designate distinctly learned verse 
"folk-poetry." For, in the nature of things, if poetry is com- 
posed in the Latin argot of culture it cannot be widely understood 
and sung; whereas, if a popular song be taken and overloaded 
with scholastic niceties it ceases to be popular. In neither case 
have we what may be called a volkslied. 

I would accordingly renew the plea already made in this study, 3 
that zeal be not allowed to run off with reason, that we do not 

1 Of. for instance Budde, Preussische Jahrbucher, Vol. LXXIII, p. 482. 

2 Many another churchman in the Middle Ages followed the example of Thomas of 
York who never heard a popular secular song or ballad sung by the minstrels that he did 
not immediately compose a sacred parody on the words: "Si quis in auditu ejus arte 
joculatoria aliquid vocale sonaret, statim illud in divinas laudes effigiabat," Biog. Lit,, 
p. 25. One Frenchman took such an interest in vernacular songs and Latin parodies of 
them that he based his sermo de sancta Maria on the ballad Bele Aliz matin leva, and in 
the course of his homily quotes the couplet : 

sicut lilium inter spinas, 
sic arnica mea inter filias. 

P. Meyer, Romania, Vol. XXXVI, p. 501. Many a Latin sermon relies for its interest, 
its theme, or its illustrative material upon popular diction, proverbial wit, vernacular songs, 
etc. I may take space perhaps for another instance : 

" Exemplum de clerico quodam de quo narratur quod, cum esset Parisius ad fenestram 
et audiret cantilenam in vico, in qua dicebatur 
Li tens s'en veit 
Et je n'ei riens fait ; 
Li tens revient 
Et je ne fais riens 

primo coepit cogitare cantus dulcedinem, etc." Haureau, Vol. Ill, p. 341. 
Cf. supra, Part I, p. 40. 



refer to the school-poetry of the goliards as popular verse, but retain 
the latter rubric for "lewd" and unlettered couplets wherever 
they occur. In a few songs of the Carmina burana we have 
popularizing lyrics of such transparent lightness throughout; but 
more frequently by far we have this popular phrase or that 
volkslied-etanza, inserted or appended where all the rest of the 
Latin poem is learned and unyielding. In such a case this alloy- 
material is to be regarded as simply the salt that savors, not as 
the yeast that leavens the whole lump so that it becomes " learned 
oik-poetry." Like alloy, it remains the intruder, and merely 
testifies interestingly to the fact that where we find learned 
poems constantly and almost unconsciously refreshing themselves 
at the well-spring of popular- song, there we have certain evidence 
that there floated everywhere about, like thistledown, German 
volkslieder and Latin stanzas of a similar sort, ready for the using. 

Since Richard M. Meyer's genial listing of the popular phrases 
which shine out of the Latin lyrics in the Carmina burana there 
is happily no reason to burden our page with the lumber of much 
evidence, 1 but one of several illustrations not given by him may 
be permitted me, to show how a popular stanza would worm its 
way in where ordinarily it would be least expected. 

After the manner of the goliards some wandering student has 
taken a French (or Italian) pastoral and "refined" it. Here 
and there the lightness of the original shimmers', but the effect 
of the whole is stilted and in no sense popular: 

Vere dulci mediante, 
Non in Maio, paulo ante, 
Luce solis radiante 
Virgo vultu elegante 
Fronde stabat sub vernante 
Canens cum cicuta. 

Illuc veni fato dante. 
Nympha non est formae tantae, 
Aequipollens ejus plantae, 
Quae me viso festinante 
Grege fugit cum balante 
Metu dissoluta. 2 

1 Cf. the oft-cited article, Zeitschr. f. deut. Alt., Vol. XXIX. 

2 Carmina burana, No. 120. 



Now mediaeval maidens are beaten always, so the story of folk- 
song goes, 1 if they be discovered with an unknown lover; and 
therefore our "nymph" is terrified. But in this instance she 
does not express her fear in a fashion that may be called foreign 
to the district of Benedictbeuern ; she speaks good German: 
"Wenn's der Vater wtlsste oder Martin gar, der altere Bruder, 
so wurde das mir ein schwarzer Tag sein .... usw." 

Si senserit meus pater 
Vel Martin us major frater, 
Erit mihi dies ater; 
Vel si sciret mea mater, 
Cum sit angue pejor quater, 
Virgis sum tributa. 2 


The goliard lyric deals with the passion of love in a way that 
is esteemed brutal. Desire for the quick and physical possession 
of the beloved object is often stated with a boldness of diction that 
borders on what we feel to be pruriency. 3 

1 Cf . Carmina burana, No. 52 : Sunt parentes mihi saevi ; mater longioris aevi irascetur 
pro re levi (SO slftege mich diu muoter min, das waere mir llhte zorn ; Uhland, Vol. IV 3 , 
p. 225) ; Du M6ril (1847) , p. 229 : Mater est inhumana ; regrediar, ni feriar materna virgula 
(Ich will nicht mit euch gahn, mein Vater wurde mich scholten. meine Mutter wurde mich 
schla'n; Uhland, Vol. III3, p. 275) ; Jeanroy, Origines^, p. 195; Heider, Unterauchungen zur 
mittelenglischen erotischen Lyrik (1905) , pp. 53 f . ; Nicholson, Old German Love Songs, p. 127 ; 
Neidhart and his fellow-poets tell how the buoyant daughter is ever chided by her mother; 
Uhland, Vol. Ill, p. 276. 

2 This stanza has ever sounded Gorman in my ears because of the girl's platitudinous 
and unblushing directness. National style read through the mask of Latin is often no safe 
criterion, but sometimes it convinces. Haureau believes one song (No. 65) Italian chiefly 
because of this: "Ce cachet n'est pas simplement la grftce; c'est encore la grace italienne, 
aux agaceries voluptueusea, celle qui distingue les fantaisies Iitt6raires de Boccace et de 
1'Arioste comme les vivantes peintures du Correge et de Giorgion." Cf. also Huet, Ro- 
mania, Vol. XXII (1893), p. 536, and Santangelo, Studio sulla poesia goliardica, pp. 82 if., 
and the tenets of Winterfeld on heimatkunst discussed below in the chapter on drinking- 
songs. Symonds writes in his Wine, Women, and Song (p. 30) : "The Carmina burana, by 
their frequent references to linden-trees and nightingales and their numerous Gorman re- 
frains, indicate a German home for the poems on spring and love, in which they are 
specially rich. The more I study the songs of love and wine in this codex, the more con- 
vinced am I that they have their origin for the most part in South- Western Germany, the 
Bodensee, and Elsass." 

3 This fact was conditioned partly no doubt by the foreign medium in which the poet 
sang. Hubatsch says (Lat. Vagantenlieder, p. 19) : " If in the vernacular songs the poet's 
words echoed warmly in every heart, the Latin author had to appeal to the reason of his 
auditor who was translating what he heard into his mother-tongue. The restriction of the 
poet's vocabulary made him coarser in expression, permitted him to say things without 
veiling them ; he is plainer, more forcible, less considerate than the courtly poet." 



I shall not say what constitutes chastity in literary expression 
by what standard we should measure it. To assert dogmatically 
that this is pure and that impure is ordinarily but to convict our- 
selves of being provincial, or at least philistine. Winterfeld sug- 
gests that modern poetesses of naturalism have quite equaled in 
frankness that Heloise whom they cannot forgive for preferring to 
be Abailardi scortum et meretrix rather than empress. 1 And I 
remember, after perusing certain novelettes and plays of Oriln- and 
Jiingstdeutschland, that the most boisterous eighteenth-century 
English stories were penetrated by gales of fresh air, that the 
Elizabethan drama was fain to stop without the bedroom door. In 
the Benedictbeuern MS there is no Goethean Tagebuch with its 
recalcitrant Meister Iste, no Venetian epigram: "Hab ich als 
madchen sie satt, dient sie als knabe mir noch." The sole sodomitic 
song in our codex spends itself in earnestly denying the guilt of 
its author. 

There would be small reason, however, to raise, still less con- 
tinue, discussion of this unsavory theme, if it were not that the 
materialism of the goliard songs appears in curious contrast to the 
almost finical reserve of the so-called frauenlieder of early minne- 
sang* with the Ktirenberg women-strophes, with verses of Meinloh 
of Seflingen and of the Burggraf of Regensburg. 3 

Now this difference in attitude may mean any of three things: 
(1) that men wrote the Latin songs, women composed the German 
ones; (2) that the goliards were morally oblique, the German 
poets of spiritual mold; (3) that the two sets of authors were sub- 
servient to different literary conventions. Let us see. 

i Cf . Herrigs Archiv, Vol. CXIV, p. 44, where Winterfeld draws an effective picture of the 
life of Irmgard von Hammerstein. 

? One argument which has often been used to negate woman's authorship of lyric verses 
can scarcely be applied here. This is the assertion that no woman would give public expres- 
sion to her love for a member of the sterner sex, as this would necessarily expose her to ridi- 
cule and social distress ; cf., e. g., von Wilamowitz, GOttinger Nachrichten (1896), p. 225, note 
2; Winterfeld, loc. cit., p. 28. This of course would be only true, (1) if the author's name 
became known, (2) if the sentiments expressed were believed to be the direct outgrowth of 
the mood of the writer, and not as commonly in poetry the more or less conventionalized 
treatment of a tender theme. Moreover, hasty generalizations as to the etiquette forbidding 
female authorship are often invalid because one age or one given usage does not furnish neces- 
sary analogy to other times and other views. 

3 "On the part of the clerk sensuality, frivolity, an overbrimming pagan joy in life," says 
Scherer when discussing "der jungn Spervogel" (Deutsche Studien, p. 7), "on the part of the 
layman moral earnestness and Christian sobriety." Again (p. 68) Scherer speaks of the 
secret revelations of a tender soul-life current in early minnesang. 



More than forty years ago Mflllenhoff asserted that the Kuren- 
berg strophes were undeniably written by women, and Scherer 
thereafter announced that we might believe women alone capable 
of the profounder sentiments of love found in the earlier love-poetry 
of Germany. 1 These statements, which for some time have been 
regarded by scholars with apathy, if not distrust, have received 
fresh impetus at the hands of Breysig. 2 There are several reasons 
for assigning the authorship of such pieces to the other sex: (a] 
the testimony of chronicles and council decrees; (6) such evidence 
as we gain from artes dictamini and epistolary guides; (c) state- 
ments made in the poem itself; (d) a belief that in times of 
violence and rudeness the tenderest tones should be considered 
feminine. The first testimony (a), gathered as it is quite exclu- 
sively from other times and districts than the one under considera- 
tion and therefore without necessary application to the period we 
are dealing with, should be given no weight. 3 The next contention 
(6) is equally invalid, for popular as we know "compendiums for 
letter- writers " and "rhymsters" to have been in the Middle Ages, 
we should still hesitate to accept the purely typical figures of women 
authors that we find in them as derived from real life. Their 
source appears more naturally to rest in the rhetorical subtleties 
of the schools which made so much of them. 4 Third (c), there is 

1 Mallenhoff-Scherer, Denkmdler (1863) ; cf. Preussische Jahrbucher, Vol. XVI, pp. 267 ff. ; 
Vol. XXXI, pp. 488 ff. ; Zeitschr. f. deut. Alt., Vol. XVII, pp. 561 ff. ; Deutsche Studien (1891)2, 
pp. 69, 77 f. ; Oesch. d. d. Dichtung im xi. u. xii. Jhdt., p. 72. Kogel (Pauls Grundriss?, Vol. 
II, p. 179) says : " Yearning for the absent love, grief at estrangement from him, find in these 
songs such simple and natural expression that one might decide for feminine authorship, 
did not the poets of this time in very similar pieces expressly introduce the woman as first 
speaker, and did not Ktlrenberger himself now and then betray the man's point of view in his 
portrayal of woman's emotions." Nor must we forget that " pathos was a strong solvent in 
the Middle Ages .... when the world was full of ideals and fantasies 1 ' (Ker, Essays on 
Mediaeval Literature [1905], p. 17), and so be not misled by the Kflrenberg songs as we come to 
them perhaps straight from our study of the preceding epic literature which bristles with 
swords and battle-axes. 

2 Cf . Die Zukunft (1903) , No. 27, in which Breysig utilizes the chaplain Andreas' Tractatus 
de amore et amoris remediis (written about 1170-85), and Archivfur Kulturgeschichte, Vol. I 
(1903), pp. 18 ff. : "the noble lady of the period knew how to read and write love-letters, a faculty 
that was probably often beyond the reach of her lover. But that the woman was first to begin 
striving to perfect sentiment and demeanor finds its reason in her innermost being, etc." 
General statements of this stripe based upon arbitrary psychological assumption cannot 
prove that women definitely composed certain poems. 

Cf. Denkm&ler (1892)3, Vol. II, pp. 154 f. 

* A case in point is furnished by the partially rhymed love-letter of Tegernsee which ends 
in quoting "Du bist min, ich bin din" (cf. Minnesangs Fruhling (1888)*, pp. 221 ff.). Here 
we meet the situation which is such a commonplace in mediaeval poetry : a woman hesitates 



no occasion to trust the autobiographic value of poetic utterance 
unless we have the added support of other knowledge regarding 
its author. 1 And the last point (d), because it may never be 
proven by any, is only assertive and quite without scientific 
warrant. 2 

Viewed from the standpoint of their songs alone, we have then 
no good reason to suppose the goliards more depraved than the 
minnesingers, unless we would regard their poetry as a matter 
of personal sincerity and not one of conventional pose, 3 unless 
we see fit to assert that their verses are "instantaneous photo- 
graphs of immediate experience." But if we wish to raise our 
eyebrows over Astrophel's Stella, if we would make flesh and 
blood of Shakespeare's Dark Lady, there is none to forbid our 
doing the like with the punks and drabs of goliard tradition. 4 

between a soldier and a clerk as lover; of., e. g., Matthew of VendOme, Epistolae, II, 1 and 2 
(Wattenbach, Sitzungsber. d. bayr. Akad. (1872), pp. 594 ff.) ; Love-Council of Remiremont 
(Zeitschr. f. deut. Alt., Vol. VII, p. 160) ; the debate between Phyllis and Flora(Carmina 
burana, No. 65), Frigidum est horridum (ibid., No. 55), and the two French songs cited by 
Hubatsch (Lat. Vagantenlieder, pp. 26 f.). A mere glance at any of these passages does away 
with the theory that women really wrote this style of thing : it is all the purest casuistry. 
Matthew's lady, for instance, denies that physical beauty precludes chastity, acknowledges 
that she desires to marry, hints that she cares to be no one's paramour, but is of the opinion 
that if she does consent to a liaison it will be a layman and no clerk who profits by it. Insin- 
cere this is, of course, but necessarily no more so than the pose of that other Tegernsee lady 
who makes a love-billet of a schnaderMipfel. The "du bist min" couplet need not be the 
work of a woman. Its sentiment is no more real than the device wrapped about any bonbon, 
than the motto printed in red on a peppermint heart. This children's party sort of jingle, 
"locked thou art within my heart, and I have lost the key," scholars have found tender and 
artless to a degree and therefore feminine. It may be. But I had always imagined such 
things as " honey is sweet and so are you" gotten up by a designing confectioner to sell his 

iThe argument from lyric to life and then from life right back to lyric is a famous 
circulus vitiosus. The fray will never end, for on the one side stand those extremists who 
trust any record of the past which they would never think of believing in the present a 
lyric record for example ; on the other side are ranged the literal people who are taught to 
view with suspicion any exercise of the imagination whatsoever. Midground is taken by 
Burdach in his reasonable analysis of Walther's lyrics ; his argument should be examined 
with some care by anyone interested in this general topic (cf. his Walther v. d. V. [1900], 
pp. 29 ff.). 

2 Mr. Manly reminds me of Skeat's pronouncement that the Nutbrown Maid was the 
product of a woman's art, despite the concluding lines. 

3 Even another source of our ' knowledge ' in the matter of the ' brutish ' poetry 
assigned to the goliards is not thoroughly trustworthy : the synodical decrees, the church 
historians, and the capitularies dictated by priests and monks. For these have an evident 
personal bias and a forced bitterness of denunciation that stamps them as the result of party 
clamor and ascetic dogmatism. If we believe such a diatribe as the De cantemptu mundi 
of Bernard of Morlaix to be the mirror of the society of his age. then (and only then) can 
we put faith in much of the vituperation against the wandering students. 

* Sy monds could not refrain from rapping the goliards for their fancied sins. He says 
(Wine, Women and Song, p. 174): "The love of Tristram for Iseult, of Lancelot for 



Suppose for the time being we admit these highly colored 
smudges to be true, then we must grant the like of the edelfrauen 
of minnesang. This wife, never the poet's own, the courtly 
author pictures for us according to a set of carefully laid down 
rules ; he varies from the prescription given him as little as does 
your modern registered pharmacist. 1 She is wholly bound by 
convention. Nor is this strange, for German minnesang was 
from its first inception not folk-poetry but the class-poetry of 

Guinevere, of Beaumains for his lady, is alien to the goliardic conception of intersexual 
relations. Nowhere do we find a trace of Arthur's vow imposed upon his knights : never to 
do outrage, and always to do ladies, damsels, and gentlewomen succour upon pain of death. 
This manly respect for women, which was, if not precisely the purest, yet certainly the 
most fruitful social impulse of the Middle Ages, receives no expression in the Carmina 

" The reason is not far to seek. The clerici were a class debarred from domesticity, 
devoted in theory to celibacy. In practice incapable of marriage, they were not so much 
unsocial or anti-social as extra-social ; and while they gave a loose rein to their appetites, 
they respected none of those ties, anticipated none of those home pleasures, which conse- 
crate the animal desires in everyday existence as we know it. One of their most popular 
poems is a brutal monastic diatribe on matrimony, fouler in its stupid abuse of women, 
more unmanly in its sordid imputations, than any satire which emanated from the corrup- 
tion of imperial Rome." 

If these remarks were only those of a single admirable and intrepid critic they might 
be passed over unheeded, but they present the general view; the view at least of all who 
read directly from mediaeval poetry to mediaeval social life. Symonds finds " the most 
fruitful social impulse " of a time in the woman worship of its romances; he finds in the 
goliards, on the contrary, " the cynicism which emerges in the lyrics of triumphant seducers 
and light lovers." If we should read modern records of this kind with equal seriousness, 
how strange would oftentimes be our deduction. No bay tree has ever flourished as do in 
these parlous days two sets of romances: the swashbuckling tale of the chaste youth who 
flies to the aid of distressed womanhood and thereby wins to wife wealth, rank, and beauty ; 
the chronique scandaleuse of sensuality and degraded passion. These are our "Arthur" 
stories, our " goliard " songs. But they do not cut deep into our life, nor do they mirror it. 
Such "best sellers" are a speciesof vegetable growth and their roots are not watered by 
the blood that gives us strength. They do not wring our withers. They do not clothe our 
ideals. Rollwagenbftchlein are they, " train literature " to induce forgetfulness between 
stations or make possible slumber under the adverse conditions which govern hotel and 
sleeping-car. We enjoy them most when they do not in any way remind us of a life we have 
led or care to dream of leading. 

I will not say that this was just the mediaeval state of mind toward all its romances 
and its naked literature of love. I do not know. But it is certainly as reasonable to believe 
twelfth-century men and women unharried by many fourth-rate courtly romances and 
"poems of passion" as are we. 

1 The portrait of the lady can be secured either by first-hand study of the poems them- 
selves or more conveniently from such repertoria as Rosieres, Histoire de la 8oci6t6 fran- 
caise au moyen age (1880), Schultz, Dos Mflsche Leben zur Zeit der Afinnes&nger (1889)2. 
The following sketch is adapted from Breysig, Archivf. Kulturgesch., Vol. I, p. 21: The 
lady of course is always fair and of inviolate breeding, she walks with slow and mincing 
step, " gestreichet als ein velkelin, dem sin gefider eben lit," she must keep her gaze lowered, 
not be seen abroad unless muffled in a cloak, not swing her arms or gather her skirts about 
her. She must not cross her legs when she sits, she may smile but never laugh or speak 
loudly. Even when riding she must hide her hands under her garment. She may not 
address a strange man, but is to rise whenever he enters the room. And so on. One might 
believe himself in the drawing-room of a modern finishing school. 



court and "society." Even before it became a fixed and fast 
literary mold, even if it derived at the beginning largely from a 
precedent popular native lyric and did not take its rise in Latin 
or Provencal or French or oriental writing, it yet breathed forth 
the new breath in literature of a devoted and soulful love. As 
platonic affection had its origin in the neo-platonism of the Italian 
renaissance, as anacreontic love is the reflex of an idyllic poetry 
revived from the pastorals of Theocritus and Anacreon, so of 
course the faithful swain and his finical lady were the result 
throughout twelfth- and thirteenth-century Europe of chivalry 
and the crusades. 

Lyrical convention thus holds court poet and goliard alike, 
and each sings a little as the spirit moves him, but mostly within 
given and definite bounds. Except for an occasional piece here 
and there and they are comparatively few in number our 
hearts need not be troubled by this vivid epicureanism. It is not 
flammen, it is poesie. Certain Latin lyrical ballads, certain longer 
musical narratives show forth a glory and a ruthless abandonment 
of self that one is not accustomed to look for in Europe anywhere 
before the fourteenth century. They are big, they have effrontery, 
and preach pleasant surrender to the world without conscience 
and without qualm. They are "pagan," if you will. But this 
love for the detail of physical beauty, of woman's fleshly charm, 
is much more apt to be a direct inheritance from classical tradi- 
tion than a newborn voluptuousness. In his Planctus naturae 
Alanus of Lille describes the goddess as follows: 1 

She is a virgin whose hair radiant with a peculiar brightness seems 
to invest her head with a starry halo. Her broad projecting forehead 
vies in color with the lily, her brows preserve a golden mean between 
luxuriance and sparseness, the soft serenity of her eyes with their benign 
glance resembles a double-star. Her nose is neither too depressed nor 
does it jut forth unduly, her mouth breathes sweet fragrance, her lips 
with their gentle swelling invite kisses, her teeth are ivory. A rosy glow 
is on her cheeks, her chin is crystal-smooth her throat is not slender 
nor yet short, her breasts display the gracefulness of youth, her arms 
incite embraces, the temperate curving of her hips completes the beauty 
of her figure. 

1 1 quote from Francke, Zur Gesch. d. lot. Schulpoesie, p. 31. Bead also what he has to 
say of similar passages from Nigel Wireker and Geoffrey of Vinesauf. 



Here is the conventionalized formula for woman's beauty in 
the school-poem ; plodding investigation of her parts from tip to toe. 
Churchmen, as we have seen, avoided the imputation of carnal 
longing by adding to their verses imagery gained from hymns to the 
Virgin and by taking refuge in phrases borrowed from the canticles 
and Prudentius; the goliards clung rather to Ovid 1 and sought to 
give their feminine lay-figure the color of truth by variation on 
the original model. The thread of it all, however, is in the clas- 
sics, as are the omnipresent palace-descriptions of one kind and 
another, the portrayal of the goddesses Fame and Fortune, 2 etc. 

The new thing that the goliards brought to this sort of school- 
poetry, a thing that gave life and the air of realism to it, that 
infused it with human warmth and sympathy was song. The 
greater poems existent at the French schools were narratives, 
with epic diffuseness of detail, made to be declaimed, prepared 
with elaborate labor, and spiced with subtle allusion for a learned 
audience. But the goliards with wares to sell set their store by 
clarity and simpler phrasing. Stolen hymns and folk-tunes fur- 
nished the musical background into which their words must fit, 
and the end of the story must come before breath and auditors 
were quite gone. Music, therefore, together with the changed 
nature of the audience to which they catered on their travels, 
accounts, I believe, for the broader colors in which woman was 
painted in the goliard songs, quite as much as a superadded lust- 
fulness of spirit. 

It is the accepted convention in all goliardic poetry first as last 
that men and maids are gifted with an omnipresent animalism: 

Si puer cum puellula 
Moraretur in cellula, 

1 For suggestive reference to Ovid's influence upon school-poetry, cf. Bartsch, Albrecht 
von Halberstadt und Ovid im Mittelalter (1861) ; Heinrich, Quatenus carminum Buranorum 
auctores veterum Romanorum poetas imitati sunt (1882) ; Paris, Chretien Legouais et les 
autres traducteurs ou imitateurs d'Ovide (in Hist. litt. de la France, Vol. XXIX. (1885), pp. 
455-525, cf. also his La poisie du moyen age (1887), pp. 189 ff, ; Wattenbach, Zeitschr.f. deut. 
Alt., Vol. XXXIV (1890), pp. 270 ff.; Vol. XVIII (1875), pp. 124 ff. ; Eeichling, Monumenta 
Germaniae paedagogica, Vol. XII (1893), pp. six, xxvii; Manitius, "Beitrage zur Geschichte 
des Ovidius im Mittelalter " (Philologus, supplementary Vol. VII (1899), pp, 721-58). See 
Brandt, De Arte amatoria libri tres (1902), p. 204; Pascal, "I carmi medieval! attribuiti ad 
Ovidio," Poesia latina medievale (1907), pp. 91-146; other titles maybe found in Sandys' 
History of Class. Scholarship (1905), pp. 614 ff. 

2 Cf . Francke, op. cit., pp. 27 f . A convenient collection of classical instances may now 
be found in Sypherd, Studies in Chaucer's House of Fame (Chaucer Society, 1907). 



Felix conjunctio 

Amore succrescente 

Prodit e medio: 
Fit ludus ineffabilis 
Membris lacertis labiis. 1 

Not only is this true in those pieces which offer us a bald and un- 
varnished presentation of facts, but also in the slighter poems 
which content themselves with a delicate suggestiveness. Under 
the thin veneer of platonic affection and playfulness which masks 
Latin songs modeled on French pastourelles we read clearly the 

same materialism: 

Quae respondet verbo brevi 
"Ludos viri non assuevi; 
Sunt parentes mihi saevi: 
Mater longioris aevi 
Irascetur pro re levi: 
Parce nunc in hora!" 2 

But apart from goliard poetry and from vernacular court-poetry 
we discover in certain Latin lyrics of a more popular sort an 
entirely different treatment of the theme of love than any we have 
yet discussed. I shall not call it necessarily more "chaste," nor 
sometimes perhaps less artificial, than the other two sorts. Still, 
the attitude such lyrics maintain toward the communion of the 
sexes is colored neither by sensuality nor by the forced abstemious- 
ness of chivalrous lovers. In these popularizing Latin songs love 
is a thing in the world like the air and the sky and springtime, 
weiter nichts. One does not hold disquisitions as to its essence, nor 
does one stop particularly to apostrophize it. Why should one? 

iCarmina burana, No. 144; Gaudeamus, p. 116; Symonds, Wine. Women and Song, 
p. 117. 

2 Symonds catches the note of this in his translation : 

Bat the girl made answer then : 
"Never played I yet with men; 
Cruel to me are my kin: 
My old mother scolds me when 
In some little thing I stray : 
Hold, I prithee sir, today !" 

Other notable instances of this suggestive platonism are Nos. 63, 119, 120, and particularly 61 
with its uncomfortable stanza : 

Ludo cum virginibus, 
Horreo corruptas, 
Et cum meretricious 
Simul odi nuptas ; 
Nam in istis ralibus 
Turpis est voluptas. 

If the macaronic pastourelles, Nos. 145 and 146, seem more indecent than this, the difference 
is one of expression and not one of fact. 



And this attitude we must call popular, for it springs from neither 
monastery, school, sodality of students, nor from knightly conven- 
tion. It comes from the volkslied, or at least from the more 
humble and racial art which is largely untroubled by the cosmo- 
politan impulses which are influencing the cultured poetry of the 
favored classes. 

We have already spoken of the admirable simplicity of a stanza 
of No. 51 ; other examples of such effective directness can be found 
in sufficient abundance in our manuscript. I can cite but a few: 

Amaveram prae ceteris 
Te, sed amici veteris 
Es jam oblita, superis 

Vel inferis 
Ream te criminamur. (No. 35.) 

Naught may better illustrate the mosaic art of goliard poetry than 
the presence of such jeweled verses as these in the learned and 
artificial environment of a piece like Captus amore gravi. 

Fronde nemus induitur, 
Jam canit philomena, 
Cum variis coloribus 
Jam prata sunt amoena. 

Spatiari dulce est 

Per loca nemorosa; 

Dulcius est carpere 

Jam lilium cum rosa; 

Dulcissimum est ludere 

Cum virgine formosa. 1 (No. 103.) 

Floret silva nobilis 
Floribus et foliis. 

Ubi est antiquus 

Meus amicus? 

Hinc equitavit, 


Quis me amabit? (No. 112.) 

1 The last six lines of this stanza were apparently quite popular for we meet them often 
in one form and another, e. g. : 

Dulce cum sodalibus 
Sapit vinum bonum ; 
Osculari virgines 
Dulcius est donum ; 
Donum est dulcissimum 
Lyra seu Maronem. 

Gaudeamus, p. 74 ; Ubi sunt, p. 64. 



Veris dulcis in tempore 
Florenti stat sub arbore 
Juliana cum sorore. 

Dulcis amor! 

Qui te caret hoc tempore 

Fit vilior. 

Si tenerem quam capio 

In nemore sub folio, 

Oscularer cum gaudio. (No. 121.) 

Love treated in this everyday manner, I say, comes from the 
volkslied. I do not say that such lays as these just printed were 
themselves popular songs, or that they are plaster casts made from 
any particular volkslied. On the other hand, I do not contend that 
any particular popular song on which we can or cannot lay our 
hands comes directly from one of these Latin spring-poems. I 
view unmoved the fact that No. 112 is followed in the Benedict- 
beuern MS by a German song almost its counterpart: 

Gruonet der wait alien thalben : 
Wa ist min geselle alselange? 
Der ist geritten hinnen, 
Owi, wer sol mich minnen! 

Nor should I try to establish any empirical law based upon a like 
resemblance between other Latin and German pieces such as Nos. 

115, 115a: 

Aestas non apparuit 
Praeteritis temporibus 
Quae sic clara fuerit; 
Ornantur prata floribus, 
Aves nunc in silva canunt 
Et canendo dulce garriunt. 

Ich gesach den sumer nie, 

Daz er so schone duhte mich: 

Mit menigen blumen wol getan 

Diu heide hat gecieret sih, 

Sanges ist der wait so vol, 

Diu zit diu tut den chleinen vogelen wol. 

Correspondences in meter and theme, verbal identity even, are not 
always safe criteria in the study of this perplexing codex, if we 
insist on developing the theory that the Latin poems were neces- 



sarily either the models or the copies of the German pieces. 
One thesis was upheld by Martin, the other by Bartsch, Scherer, 
Burdach, Becker, and Wallenskold. 1 Both contentions, however, 
break down because the evidence is at once insufficient and 
contradictory. But we may learn from the presence of popular- 
izing Latin lyrics in the Carmina burana that a German lyric 
existed before minnesang and that it was paralleled and preceded 
by a Latin lyric. 


Some years ago Marold gave currency to a tale which takes 
rank with the Kinder- und Hausmarchen of the brothers Grimm. 
For the lack of a better title it may be called "Wie die Deutschen 
auszogen den natursinn zu lernen." It runs as follows: 

Older German poetry offers astonishingly little expression of feeling 
for nature and exhibits small inclination to poetic imagery. In these 
respects the Germans won but gradually a greater freedom of spirit and 
not till the twelfth century do we find a total change. At this epoch 
there began to be felt an increased necessity for the poetic adornment of 
life and connected with this there must be, of course, a greater attention 
paid to nature, the phenomena of which had ever exercised an attrac- 
tion for minds that were poetically inclined. There was, besides, the 
example of the western neighbors and of Latin poetry, which like the 
Latin language we know possessed international importance during the 
Middle Ages. Now people remembered in Germany, emboldened by such 
example, that in their own home, as well, hearts were beating higher when 
spring and its gifts were celebrated, that surely enough old popular- 
rhymes were still current which extolled the change of seasons. And in 
Germany, too, sentiment for nature was united with other emotions of the 
heart, especially with love. 2 

1 have given this long quotation from Marold in no spirit of 
mockery, but because it seems to me inherently no more untrue 
in its mechanical literalness than the directly opposite view-point 
which discovers a la Biese living significance and deep spiritual 
meaning in every tag of threadbare nature-formalism used by 

iCf. Martin, Zeitschr.f. deut. Alt., Vol, XX (1876), pp. 46-69; Bartsch, Deutsche Lieder- 
dichter des xii. bis xiv. Jahrhunderts (1864); Scherer, Deutsche Studien (1874), No. II; Bur- 
dach, Reinmar der Alte und Walther von der Vogelweide (1880) ; Becker, Der altheimische 
Minnesang (1882) ; Wallenskold, Hehingfors memoires. Vol. I (1893), pp. 71 ff. 

2 Of. Zeitschr. f. deut. Phil., Vol. XXIII (1890) , p. 1 ; Nord und Sud, Vol. LII (1890), p. 834 ; 
Verhandlungen deutscher Philologen (1890), p. 256. 



poetry. 1 The mere presence of nature in verse does not neces- 
sarily argue deep feeling for nature on the part of the versifier; if 
it does, let us recall with a start and a catch of the breath that 
some of the most artificial school-made poems that the world has 
ever known must be tremendously sincere in this one regard. But 
on the contrary critics like Marold err, I think, when they paint a 
scene like the above, and have the German remember suddenly 
that he needs some nature-tags, go to the western neighbors and 
to Latin poetry to get it, and fetch it home to unite it more or less 
seamlessly with other heart-emotions like love. As if one recalled 
that there were no chops for luncheon and hied him to the nearest 
shop to repair the oversight! 2 

There is a golden mean to observe in this as in other matters. 
Goliard songs like minnelieder exhibit nature-sense, of course, 
or they would not so constantly refer to nature ; a deep feeling for 
nature finds in either type but rare expression. The goliard as a 
usual thing paints his nature broad and pompously, whereas the 
earlier minnesingers at least sketch it more briefly and severely, 
but in final analysis each is ordinarily only following the technique 
of his school; the one clips his illustrations from Latin poems 
colored by Latin ecclesiasticism and scholastic rhetoric, the other 
gains his material from vernacular sources. Sometimes, however, 
the goliard is evidently influenced by popular poetry at other 
times the minnesinger quite as openly finds his model in stilted 
Latin imagery. In any particular instance the reader of a poem 
may decide as to the real feeling for nature shown by some indi- 
vidual poet only after much personal examination of the records. 
He may discover the nature-introduction and embellishment so 
widespread in mediaeval poetry 3 to be but the veriest common- 

1 Biese, Die Entwicklung des Naturgeffthls im Mittelalter und in der Neuzeit (1892)2. 

2 An important bibliography of older writings on the nature-sense of the minnesingers 
in Meyer, Zeitschr.f. deut. Alt., Vol. XXIX (1885), p. 207. To furnish a general bibliography 
of this subject is happily unnecessary, for it would prove as arduous (and acceptable) a task 
as counting the hairs of one's head. 

3 We know how common a custom it was to enliven even the rhymed chronicles (the 
prose ones, too, for that matter) with various sorts of purely incidental matter ; mytho- 
logical allusions and reminiscences of ancient history vied in popular favor with descriptions 
of natural scenes and constituted a kind of broidered edge about the more solid framework 
of the theme. Just as, for example, Walter of Chatillon interlarded his Atexandreis with 
rhetorical pictures of nature according to good classical usage, so William the Breton 



place of conventional symbolism, 1 the rewhistling, as it were, of a 
melody that is on every lip or he may find in occasional lines of 
some Walther von der Vogelweide and his lesser brethren an ade- 
quate answer to the moment under description. 

The nature-formalism of German minnesang has been graphi- 
cally presented by several scholars, most notably by Richard M. 
Meyer; no similar classification on a large scale with reference to 
Latin school lyrics yet exists. Not until the material has been 
thus fully exposed, however, will it be commonly understood how 
much a child of the schools the goliard is in this regard. The 
labor of bringing together all the evidence bearing upon the treat- 
ment of nature in Latin school poetry would minimize by com- 
parison olim Herculis sudorem, 2 but it would be well worth the 
while, for it would show that in hundreds of cases where we to- 
day assert originality exists, nothing but pedantic copying is 
manifest. As there is no space here for epic diffuseness a few 
known illustrations must suffice : 

The opening lines of the Synodicus of Warnerius Basiliensis 
exhibit a joy in environing nature that would remind us of early 
minnesang : 

Jam calor aestivus fervente leone nocivus 

Transiit, augusti tinis dat pocula musti. 

Campis detectis et pomis arbore lectis 

Undique potatur contractaque cura fugatur. 

Nos quoque laetantes dum sustinet herba cubantes 

Ramis protectos esca potaque refectos 

Condelectemur .... 

proved an apt pupil by interspersing here and there in his Philippis what seem to be indi- 
vidualized pictures of local scenery, until we remember the source of them is more apt to be 
Vergil or Ovid than the real experience of the author. 

1 If we take but one single symbol of natural beauty in mediaeval poetry like the rose, 
and with the aid of Joret's La rose dans Vantiquite et au moyen age (1892) attempt a full 
classification of its literary sources, the result is not only instructive but bewildering. We 
see at once that goliardic poetry found scarcely a figurative use of this flower which classical 
and patristic Latin had not rendered commonplace. Christian mysticism broadened and 
specialized this imagery somewhat, of course, and hymnody painted new roses for its Mary- 
worship, but even here we can often trace easily the " pagan " original, or find at least that 
the mediaeval symbol has been anticipated by a writer like Prudentius. Such correspond- 
ences must frequently be ascribed to coincidence, no doubt, but never without some prior 
hesitation. For much of the Latin poetry of the Middle Ages was so essentially a poetry of 
the schools, a product of erudition and not an independent creation, that even in the songs 
of the wandering students the apparently fresh feeling for nature which inspires them is apt 
to be couched in tropes borrowed from textbooks. 

2" For who of all these poets has not sung or described spring?" asks Francke (op.cit., 
p. 63). 



if we did not know they were copied from Theodulus. 1 Similarly, 
the following verses from a poem of Nigel Wireker would appear to 
be an individual tribute of some merit, if we did not understand them 
to be little more than a cento made from a score of school-descrip- 
tions of spring. Every phrase of Nigel's picture can be repro- 
duced again and again from goliard poetry ; most of it could be 
put together in a moment from the songs of the Carmina bur ana 
alone; it is minstrel patter of a learned sort: 

Postquam tristis hiems zephyro spirante recessit, 

Grando, nives, pluviae consuluere fugae, 
Terra parens florum vires rediviva resumpsit, 

Exeruitque caput exhilarata suum, 
Ver caput atque comes aestatis in otia curas 

Laxat, et ablato frigore flore nitet. 
Vernat fronde nemus, vestitur gramine tellus, 

Veris odoriferi spirat ubique vapor. 
Quidquid hiems hyemisque graves rapuere ministri, 

Reddidit aestatis gratia vere novo. 
Veris ad imperium surgens statione soluta, 

Clausa sub aestivo carcere cedit hyems. 
Flante levi zephyro dum ver lascivit in herbas, 

Aestas multiplici flore maritat humum. 
Temporis atque loci facie redeunte serena, 

Saltibus et silvas redditur exul avis; 
Quaeque diu siluit philomena silentia solvit, 

Voce sua redimens verba negata sibi. 
Cujus ad exemplum, sterili torpore remote, 

Morem temporibus qui gerit ipse sapit. 2 

Again, we have in the initial verses of the Apocalypsis Goliae 
what shines forth as an individualized depiction of a spring land- 
scape: "In the month of May when the sun burned hot I betook 
myself to a shady grove and was resting under a spreading oak, 
when suddenly the form of Pythagoras appeared." Localization, 
however, promptly disappears when we recall practically this 
identical statement from a dozen other sources. 3 

1 Cf . Huemer, Romanische Forschungen, Vol. Ill, pp. 315 ff. ; Wiener Studien, Vol. XIV 
(1892), pp. 156 ff. 

2 Francke (op. cit., p. 63) cites a similar passage from another poem of Nigel, and also 
Geoffrey of Vinesauf's Poetria, vv. 550 ff., 901 ff. ; Arnulf (Lexoviensis, Opera, ed. Giles) pp. 
35, 37 ; the Ant iclaudi anus and Plane tus naturae of Alanus of Lille ; Peter of Eboli, vv. 1465 ff . 

3Cf. BOhmer, "HerdringerVagantenliedersammlung," Zeitschr. f. deut. Alt., Vol. XLIX 
(1907), pp. 202 f. ; also another poem (No. 17) of the same collection; Radewin's verses, Sit- 



And BO we might proceed with our presentation of the other 
cliches of nature description which goliard verse possesses in such 
abundance, adding largely to the material already garnered by 
Richard M. Meyer and Marold. The stock personifications of 
nature as the force that created anew, as the pregnant mother, the 
one perfect healer, the asylum of refuge, the supreme manifesta- 
tion of a higher being, now malignant, now kindly, etc., until the 
whole rote of classical reminiscence and school- lore had been sung. 
But there is no need of this in the present instance, for we wish 
merely to establish sufficiently the fact that the cachet of goliardic 
verse like that of all school-poetry is that it found in nature "an 
object of contemplation rather than an impulse to emotion, a sub- 
ject for moral rather than for aesthetic interpretation." 

The simple Latin pieces, on the other hand, those which pre- 
ceded, paralleled, and copied German dance rhymes, betray all the 
immediateness of experience which is the unfailing criterion of 
folksong. 1 In No. 79, refrain, the poet does not study the world, 
he hears it and it is sounding a thousand melodies of love ; No. 
81, the choir of song-birds incites to youthful dalliance; No. 99, 
the new beauty of spring and its festival array summon to gaiety, 
but the girl should be true to the lover who is ever with her in 
thought (von dir geschieden, bin ich bei dir) ; No. 100, men and 
maids with crowns of roses go out into the meadows now that 
spring has come again; No. 103, it is good to walk in the wood- 
lands now that the trees are green with foliage, etc. A hundred 
similar quotations can be had for the asking from the two-score 
light and graceful love dits which intervene between Nos. 100 
and 147 of the Carmina burana. 

What may we read from this? That all these songs were 
composed by simple-minded folk-poets? Of course not. That 
the majority of these songs are absolutely untouched by the long- 

zungsber. d. bayr. Akad. [1873], p. 690; Fierville, Notices et extraita,Vol. XXXI (1884), Pt. 1, 
p. 144, Haur6au, Notices et extraits, Vol. VI (1893), p. 289 ; Hubatsch, op. cit., p. 60 ; Baab, Ueber 
vier allegorische Motive in der latein. u. deut. Lit. d. Mittelalters (1885); Francke, op. cit. 
p. 58, who also cites in this connection the Palponista of Bernard of Gest. 

i Although it must not be forgotten that in these pieces as in popular poetry everywhere 
nature is only the background and is generally sketched without individuality of tone or 
treatment. "In the landscapes of goliardic literature," says Symonds, "there is nothing 
specific to a single locality, no name like Vaucluse, no pregnant touch that indicates one 
scene selected from a thousand." 



breathed absurdities of the French and German schools ? Again, 
of course not. We may, however, from the open page of these 
confessions read that kranzsingen, brunnenfahrt, knappenehe, 
maienbuhlen and other village festivals and customs live in these 
Latin lyrics as really as they do in any vernacular German poetry 
of the contemporary day. And this sort of come-be-my-valentine 
song with its set-piece of nature-staging (trees are green: the 
meadow is flow' ring: the nightingale sings: the spreading linden- 
branches invite) shall we for one moment deem this identical in 
origin with the industriously wrought imagery of learned nature 
allusion? No. It matters not where the uoZfcsZted-landscape 
appears; whether in simplest may ing couplets or in more preten- 
tious company, viz., as a mere tag in a goliardic ballad; it can be 
recognized as readily as might a milkmaid at the court of Louis 
XIV. A real milkmaid it may be or some fine lady in masque, 
but the origin of the costume in either case betokens the source 
of the idea. The treatment of nature in some of the Latin spring- 
songs of the Carmina burana teaches us that there were German 
popular songs everywhere during the twelfth century, and that 
they are reflected in (and are at times the reflex of) popularizing 
Latin lyrics. 


On first hearing the Orlando furioso the cardinal Ippolito of 
Este is rumored to have asked Ariosto in some surprise, "Master 
Ludovico, where did you find all that nonsense?" What answer 
the indignant poet made history does not relate, but his sources 
are sufficiently known to us, thanks to the unselfish labors of 
modern investigators. 1 If a mediaeval schoolman had been simi- 
larly examined as to the models of his poem, he would presumably 
have claimed much of it for his own, but again modern industry 
has unearthed many of the original writings which were the 
whole basis and scaffolding for the building of twelfth -cen- 
tury poems. And these were copied after, propped and but- 
tressed by, decorated and painted with, and garnished from, the 
Latin classic authors. Sometimes the influence was direct, some- 
times the ancient author was known through an intermediary of 

i Cf. Qustav Meyer, Essays und Studien, Vol. I (1885), p. 208. 



the Silver Age, of African Latinity, or of the Carolingian renais- 
sance; but no matter how the original source be tarnished, made 
turbid, clouded, or disordered, in final essence it remains the life- 
giving cell. 

The goliards inherited the literary tradition of both school 
and church. 1 The result of this, as has been sufficiently indicated 
above, is that their poems stand forth in sharp relief from the 
lay-poetry of the time a contrast of which the goliards them- 
selves were conscious, and which they did all in their power to 
maintain. 2 It is only necessary for one who is conversant with 
the recurrent formulae of German minnesang to glance at the 
more learned and pretentious of the Latin lyrics in the Carmina 
burana to recognize how different are the turns of speech which 
characterize the latter. 

A long catalogue of these learned formulae is necessary and 
has never yet been made. I know of no other work in connection 
with the history of the mediaeval lyric so important at this time. 
Without such a vorarbeit literary criticism must continue to hand 
down general statements regarding the texture and the weaving 
of Provencal, French, German, English, and Italian lyrics as they 
meet our gaze from twelfth and thirteenth centuries onward. 
We must thresh and re-thresh the husks, until someone feels him- 
self called to examine the field of Latin literature during the 

1 Cf. Hubatsch, pp. 22 f. : "Besides the Bible the Roman classics formed the foundation 
of the clerical culture of the Middle Ages. Thus there mingled in the poetic diction of the 
clerks the figures of Old and New Testament and the gods and heroes of Greece and Rome ; 
parables and maxims from the Bible and sayings and proverbs from ancient authors ; church 
mysteries and the mythology of antiquity. Because of the language of the church which 
the clerks spoke, they employed the tales and the persons of the Old Testament much as 
the Roman poets did the Greek legends and gods ; Jerusalem and Zion commonly appear in 
the poetic diction of the church as a term for ecclesia, the Christians are called plebs hebrea, 

' etc. On the other hand they speak of Homer, of Jupiter, of the Modes and Persians, as if they 
themselves were living in the age of the Roman poets." Because of this confusion of imagery, 
Jupiter often replaces the Christian God (e. g., in the Confessio Goliae ; " sed cor patet Jovi ") , 
and Venus is substitute for the Virgin Mary. For further suggestive discussion cf . Francke, 
pp. 33 ff. ; Pannenborg, Forschungen zur de utschen Geschichte, Vol. XI, p. 225; and especially 
Ronca, Cultura medievale (1891), pp. 126 ff., who calls attention to the Goliae dialogus inter 
aquam et vinum (Wright, Walter Mapes, p. 87 ; Novati, Carmina medii aevi, p. 58) in which 
Thetis and Lyaeus appear before the throne of God and plead their case with a large num- 
ber of citations from the Bible. 

2 As many allusions indicate : " Laici non capiunt ea quae sunt vatis," " Literates 
convocat decus virginale, laicorum exec rat pectus bestiale," " Jacet ordo clericalis in 
respectu laicalis," "aestimetur autem laicus ut brutus, nam ad artem surdus est et 
mutus," etc. 



early Middle Ages, in order to determine how much it may con- 
tain of the themes and the figures which vernacular poetry later 
employed. It requires no prophetic vision to see that in this 
Latin lies buried many a secret for which students of national and 
native poetic art have long been hunting, or which in their lack 
of full knowledge they believe to have found elsewhere. In some 
ways the task is an enormous one, for it should include not merely 
the examination of Latin school poetry but must search indus- 
triously through chronicles and sermons, prose treatises of many 
sorts, MSS of excerpts and apologues, exempla and tales, artes 
dictamini et metrici, religious and philosophical tracts, historical 
records. When the work has been finished, we shall find the 
truth of a fact which has often been discovered before: culture 
filters down to the more illiterate people from above, but the 
reaction is at least equally strong the conscious and learned 
literature of the favored class everywhere mirrors the homely 
wisdom and the innate poetry of humbler souls, no matter how 
far from its original form and purpose such popular lore may have 
been brought by scholastic transfiguration. 

Pending such investigation, however, we must be content to 
note the disparity of devices and tricks which separates goliard 
poetry from courtly lyrics as well as from poetry of the more 
popular sort. Because of the limits of our space one or two illus- 
trations must suffice. 

In one of Nigel Wireker's poems 1 the three Fates come upon 
a girl of such radiant beauty that Jupiter himself would have 
suffered banishment from heaven for seven years rather than give 
her up. This picture is repeated with more or less furbishing in 
school verse until it becomes a wearying commonplace. Geoffrey 
of Vinesauf, for example, writes: 

Si Jupiter illis 

Temporibus vidisset earn : nee in Amphitrionem 
Luderet Alcmenam; nee sumeret ora Dianae: 
Ut te fraudaret Callisto flore; nee lo 
Nube; nee Antiopam satyro; nee Agenore natam 
Tauro; Messione nee te pastore; vel ague 

Cf. Wright, Anglo-Latin Satirical Poets, Vol. II, p. Ill ; Francke, p. 82. 



Asopo genitam; vel te Didonis in anguem; 
Vel Ledam cygno; nee Danem falleret auro. 
Hanc solam coleret, omnesque videret in una. 1 

This flourish is used three times by Hilary: 

Si nunc certe regnaret Jupiter, 
Pro puella bos factus turpiter, 
Avis foret tibi similiter, 
Apud ilium ut fores jugiter. 

Crede mihi, si redirent prisca Jovis saecula, 
Ganimedes jam non foret ipsius vernacula; 
Sed tu, raptus in supernis, grata luce pocula, 
Gratiora quidem nocte Jovi dares oscula. 

Nam et rector superorum, 
Raptor olim puerorum, 
Si nunc esset, tarn decorum 
Ad caeleste ferret torum 
Aula tandem in superna, 
Satis prontus ad alterna, 
Nunc in toro, nunc pincerna, 
Jovi fores gratus una; 2 

and oftener still in the Carmina burana; very simply in two 
cases, at other times with conscious elaboration: 

Me Corinna Jove digna nexuit. (No. 154.) 

Si me dignetur quam desidero, 
Felicitate Jovem supero. (No. 167.) 

Unde juro Musas novem, 
Quodque ma jus est, per Jovem, 
Qui pro Danae sumsit auri, 
Pro Europa formam tauri. (No. 168.) 

O si forte Jupiter hanc videat, 
Timeo ne pariter incaleat 
Et ad fraudes redeat, 
Sive Danaes pluens antrum 
Imbre dulci mulceat, 
Vel Europes intret taurum, 
Vel et haec congaudeat 
Rursus in olore. (No. 56.) 

1 Poetria nova, vss. 621 ff . 

2 Cf. Champollion-Figeac, Hilarii versus et ludi, pp. 21, 22, 40. 



Another picture of which the goliard never tires is that of the 
poet wounded by love. 1 Similar personifications of Fate and of 
Fortune are extremely common, like that of Nature of which we 
have already spoken. There is often scarcely an end to the heap- 
ing up of classical and biblical instances of wisdom, greatness, 
beauty, and chastity, even in really musical and lyric pieces: one 
has but to recall the Ubi sunt strophes or the "gloss" stanzas so 
beloved of mediaeval poets: 

Inplumes aves volitant, Brunelli chordas incitant, boves in aula sali- 
tant, stivae praecones militant. In taberna Gregorius jam disputat 
inglorius, severitas Hieronimi pattern causatur oboli. Augustus de seg- 
ete, Benedictus de vegete sunt colloquentes clanculo et ad macellum 
sedulo. Mariam gravat sessio, nee Marthae placet actio, jam Liae venter 
sterilis, Rachel lippescit oculis. Catonis jam rigiditas convertitur ad 
ganeas, et castitas Lucretiae turpi servit lasciviae. 2 

Such examples may be multiplied at will, as may scores of 
other classical reminiscences of one sort and another. But enough 
has been said to show the trend of things in this direction; it 
remains to present the antithesis. For just as surely as the pres- 
ence of such allusions as those above indicated show learned influ- 
ence and environment in the case of certain songs, a large number 
of facts of a different kind furnish indisputable testimony regard- 
ing the popular nature and origin of other lyrics. These without 
further ado I shall now proceed to sweep together as well as 
may be. 

Diction. Richard M. Meyer has succeeded in winnowing out 
of the lighter lyrics of the Carmina burana a large number of 
Germanisms, many of which are of the simplest and most popular 
sort. Some of his examples are, as he himself recognizes, not 
absolutely convincing; that is, they may be French locutions as 
well as German ones; but in general his results in this direction 
have stood and will stand the severest test of criticism. Late 

i Instances chosen at random from the Carmina burana are : Venus me telo vulneravit ; 
Cupido telnm minans vibrat; tela Cupidinis aurea gesto; vulneratus a sagitta Veneris; 
dam sagittam Veneris vos sentitis ; vulnus atque vulneris causas revela ; telum pectore 
clausum portitavi; dulce est hoc jaculo velle vulnerari; vulnera experior; vulneratua 
nequeo sanari; Venus tela proferat in amantes puellas; et aurea Cupidinis ad jacula; ob 
quam vulneror; venenea ob hoc amoris jacula; unius in amore puellae vulneror; amor 
telum est in signis Veneris; quod feriat me Veneris jaculo; vulneror in medio cordis mei 
telo ; and many more. 

Carmina burana, No. LXIX. 



pandit tiUa, nu 1st wol breit der linden ir ast; flore decoratum 
purpureo, mit rosen underwieret; sed haec mihi penitus mors 
dulcior, aber sanfter waere mir der tot; ornantur prata floribus, 
diu heide hat gezieret sich ; ver redit optatum cum gaudio, komen 
ist ein wunneclicher meie, des kunf t envreut sich ; such formulae 
as these found in plenty among the dance songs of a Bavarian MS 
speak with no uncertain voice of the technique of German volks- 

Impure rhyme. Pursuant to hints given by Wilhelm Meyer, 
Lundius discovers the songs in the Carmina burana which exhibit 
impurity of rhyme and those which sin against the doctrine of syl- 
labic equality in verse structure to be chiefly German in origin. 
Gladly as I should accept the conclusions of Lundius to bolster 
up my argument, I cannot believe in their integrity at this time, 
for reasons elsewhere given. 1 

Themes. Certain of the themes and the manner of treating 
them in Latin lyrics have been discussed in the preceding part 
of this study. I have practically nothing to add on this point, 
although the material at hand to prove popular German influence 
in a number of Latin songs which have not been treated is still 
ample. I have not used all this evidence, for it would offer 
nothing new except in the way of cumulative proof, and I have 
preferred to leave a topic the moment I believed it to be ade- 
quately set forth and verified. 

Popular paraphrase. German popular poetry has a fond- 
ness for concrete illustration which shows itself in minute details. 2 
Abstract expressions of time and place are avoided by the volks- 
lied whenever possible. For "always" it says "by night as well 
as day;" "never" is more graphically given by "when the ravens 
become white doves," "when the sea stands still," etc. We meet 
this tendency now and then, or at least the deliberate copying 
of it, in Latin verses: 

Cum mare siccatur 

Et daemon ad astra levatur, 

Tune primo laicus 

Fit clero fidus amicus. 3 

i Cf. Appendix, infra. 2 (jf. Wackernell, Das deuteche Volktlied (1890), p. 27. 

3 An inscription on the church of St. Martin in Worms; Hubatsch, p. 22. 



Ergo dum nox erit dies, 
Et dum labor erit quies, 
Et dum silva sine lignis, 
Et dum aqua erit ignis, 
Et dum mare sine velis, 
Et dum Parthus sine telis, 
Cara mihi semper eris; 
Nisi fallar, non falleris. 1 

Impersonality. Hubatsch says that the goliard songs are like 
volkslieder because they are the property of none, but pass like 
ready coins through the hands of many; because in them the 
personality of the poet is withdrawn, or what little there may be 
of it is soon sloughed off, and only that which is of universal 
interest and value remains; because goliard songs are current at 
one and the same time in different forms, of which it is difficult 
to determine the original, for in each new revision we find no 
longer the product of the individual, but the traces of many hands. 
These words of Hubatsch are not unreasonable, and for a small 
portion of goliardic poetry they may be exact and true, but person- 
ally and after much study of the situation I am afraid it is not 
well to insist strongly upon the likeness of goliard lyric to folksong 
in the matter of impersonality. For it offers us too vague and 
uncertain a clue to follow with satisfaction, and leads us almost of 
necessity to adopt the specious phrase "learned folk-poetry" to 
which I have above objected. 

The courtly poets were the first to object to the theft of their 
songs ("donedieb") ; previous poets either took no heed of pla- 
giarism and made no attempt to prove ownership to their lays, or 
what is perhaps more likely names have been lost to us through 
the carelessness and chance of transmission. From these facts we 
can read something of the literary fashions of a time, but we can 
hardly read a similarity to popular poetry. Some of the greatest 
hymns ever written are ascribed to this or that author on the basis 
of mere rumor and tradition, innumerable poems big and little, 

i Garmina burana, No. 168 ; the phrase " Parthus sine telis " in a stanza of so popular 
a sort reminds us of the learned character of the minnegruss cited above (Part I, p. 14, 
bottom), which Mr. B. K. Rand discovers to contain a reminiscence of Pervigilium Veneris, 

V8S. 47 f. 



"comedies," tales, sermons, etc., likewise are without definitely 
ascertainable authors and have therefore been assigned one after 
the other to almost every new head that juts up above the mediaeval 
horizon. But in few of these cases surely would we think of com- 
paring these things with volkslieder simply because they are 

And as for the general and impersonal nature of many goliard 
songs, they were written in Latin and so could not hope to achieve 
the specific individualization of vernacular poems. Besides which, 
they need not be regarded as "popular" simply because they did 
not insist upon the extravagant claims of the ego of the poet so 
characteristic of the songs of minnediensi. 

Music. It is possible for the scientist to deal with electricity 
without taking into consideration the lightning flash, and likewise 
we may treat long and laboriously of mediaeval Latin lyrics with- 
out a reference to mediaeval music. Songs that because of the 
accident of ink and print we see, others have heard, but all the 
melody which filled their ears is lost to us. I suspect that some- 
times music carried lyrics like lightning from one land to another, 
from one tongue to another; only thus may I explain to my 
satisfaction the quickness with which certain forms of poetry 
appear to have found diffusion throughout Europe. At the present 
time a certain light opera is being heard in many cities and coun- 
tries of our small world; it contains a waltz-song which is achiev- 
ing widespread popularity and praise. For a little while the words 
of this song are being sung in at least five languages and on two 
continents. It will live out its ephemeral day and disappear; but 
what a crux the words of this song will offer to the "investigator" 
of some future century who vainly attempts to construct the 
meaning of their popularity and their wide diffusion! He will be 
confronted by a mummy which cannot be reawakened except 
through the miracle of music. 

And there is something about the poorest mummy-casket which 
allows us to dream of life, nay which demands that we so dream. 
And so there is much in the simplest lyrics of the Carmina burana 
which tells us of the sound of them, which leads us to set them 
to one and another of the tunes from the modern kommersbuch 



with some satisfaction to ourselves at least. A few of them 
may have been sung to tatters and thus have gained a terseness of 
expression, a crispness that we are accustomed to in volkslieder 
and in modern German popularizing lyrics but which contrasts 
oddly with the expressionistic tautology, the plethoric garru- 
lousness of the longer Latin poems. A study of the refrains in 
the Benedictbeuern codex similarly convinces us of the popularity 
some songs achieved when set to a catching tune. 

Terseness. In his review of Des Kiuiben Wunderhorn Goethe 
speaks of the laconicism of the lyric which is the undoubted result 
of the vivid contemplation of a limited situation, of the pressure 
exerted by a deep view. I have just hinted that some of this 
crispness and tensity found in mediaeval Latin lyrics may be 
due to the circumstance of oral transmission ; they have been zer- 
sungen, and nothing but the last intelligible rags of them remain. 
But in certain other short songs I believe we meet with that 
impressionistic vagueness of expression, that disregard for middle- 
terms, sprunghaftigkeit, technik des erratenlassens, which folk- 
poetry has ever used with such telling effectiveness. Not much of 
this is in our lighter ballads, it is true, but here and there if I 
mistake not there is a faint reflection of it; we should need far 
more material than we now have to justify prolonged exegesis, 
but on the other hand I do not feel like passing by the fact in 
silence. Just one citation: 

Beneath the spreading branches of this tree [said the girl] my knight 
has often descended from his horse and stopped to tell me of his love; 
though, alas, he was ever more prone to demand of me the pledges of 
my love for him ! But now that he comes no more I yet steal away to 
our leafy meeting-place and strive to keep my faith for him and be ready 
when he next appears. Where does he tarry? Nay, he is faithless as I 
am fond, he has ridden off and will never plead again for my caresses. 
Oh, if this love has played me false, who is there that can love me? 

All this the poet says and more still by implication, but after 
the manner of the volkslied he crowds it into a few words: 

Floret silva nobilis 
Floribus et foliis. 
Ubi est antiquus 


Meus amicus? 

Hinc equitavit; 

Eia! Quis me amabit? 

Refrains. The choral stanzas of the love-lyrics in the Carmina 
bur ana fall into two easily distinguishable classes: (1) long and 
learned refrains; 1 (2) shorter ones with a more lyrical and popular 
tone. I feel no inclination to make a catalogue of these two sorts, 
for we should gain therefrom no new point of view. The first 
kind of refrain is bookish not only because of the nature of its 
content but because it is so difficult to learn and retain that we 
must suspect the singer of it to have constantly refreshed his mind 
with a glance at the page: 

Experire filia virilia 

Semper juvenilia stabilia; 

Sola sunt senilia labilia. 

Haec sunt utensilia agilia, facilia, 

gracilia, fragilia, humilia, mobilia, 

docilia, labilia, Caecilia, 
Et si qua sunt si mill a. 

Jolly a refrain though this may be, it defies facile memorization; 
nor may we easily suspect it to have been intercalated between the 
song of the two quatrains which it divides, for it fits the sense 
and the rhyme of them exactly. Now, while in the Carmina 
burana we have practically no other example of so extended and 
whimsical a chorus, there are a number of instances 2 which argue 
with equal force against the popularity of the poems which con- 
tain them "popularity" in the sense of a widespread and almost 
unconscious humming of them. The presence of the longer 
refrain, then, merely indicates that more than one singer had part 
in the song not that it was in any sense a volkslied. 3 

But the brief choral reiteration which characterizes certain of 
the shorter poems of love and wine, often with vernacular alloy, 
makes their popularity more or less certain; although in one or 

1 Wilh. Meyer is in error when he says the arranger of the Benedictbeuern codex made 
an especial rubric of those simple love-songs which have the longer refrains (Oes. Abhandl., 
Vol. I, p. 326) : Nos. 140-43, 145, 146. Other refrains in songs of this type like Nos. 53 and 59 
exceed the ones he mentions by several lines. 

2E. g.. Nos. 38, 48, 53, 54, 56, 57, 115, 140, 142, 144. 

3Cf. what Wilh. Meyer has to say about No. 178 (Ges. Abhandl., Vol. I, p. 327). 



two cases (cf. No. 125) the refrain is slight and pretty, whereas 
the poem is stilted or long-winded. 

No. 34: Fronde pausat tiliae, Cypridis in voto! 

79: Audi bela mia, mille modos Veneris da hi zevaleria. 

81: O vireat, o floreat, o gaudeat in tempore juventus! 

88: Eia, qualia amoris gaudia! 

92: Miser, miser! modo niger et ustus fortiter. 
112: Floret silva undique, nah mine gesellen ist mir we. 
121: Dulcis amor! Qui te caret hoc tempore fit vilior. 
125: Lodircundeia lodircundeia. 
136: Hyrca hyrce nazaza trillirivos. 
143: Vos igitur, o socii, nunc militetis Veneri. 
146: Hoi et oe! maledicantur tiliae juxta viam positae! 
164: Temporis nos ammonet lascivia. 
166: Amor improbus omnia superat, subveni! 

182: Deu sal sit vobiscum, o pecharie! Modo bibite, sortes apponite! 
191 : O et o cum jubilo, largos laudet nostra concio. 

To such a list should be added the German refrains appended to 
Latin pieces, for they teach the same lesson of popularity. 

141 : Manda liet, manda liet, min geselle chumet niet. 

145: Heia heia, wie si sanch; cicha cicha, wie si sanch; vincula 

vincula vincula rumpebat. 
181 : Her wirt, tragent her nuo win, vrolich suln wir bi dem sin. 


I have already had occasion to speak of the bacchic songs 
which parodied religious poems. 1 Some of these copied the Ave- 
model closely, others like the hymn of magister Morandus devel- 
oped the form further, 2 but they are all the fruit of learned imita- 
tion. In none of them can we trace any hint of nationality or 
birthplace, other than to assume that they had their origin in 
connection with festivals like the festae stuHorum and asinorum. 3 

Another sort of drinking-song is without racial characteristics, 
This is the conflictus between wine and water. 4 In part it may 

i Cf. Part I, p. 35. 

2Cf. Mone, Hymni latini medii aevi. Vol. I, p. 177; Wright, Early Mysteries, p. 120; 
DuMeril (1847), p. 204, (1843), p. 96; Anzeiger f. Kunde d. deut. Vorzeit, Vol. XV, p. 135; 
Chronica fratris Salimbene Parmensis (1847), p. 92; Novati, Carmina medii aevi (1883), pp. 
66,' 69, Studi cntici (1889), p. 186 ; Suttina, Studi medievali, Vol. II (1907), pp. 563 ff. 

3Cf. Novati, Studi critici, pp. 185 ff.; Chambers, Medieval Stage, Vol. I, pp. 274 ff. 

*Cf. also the "Alteroatio vini et cerevisiae," Zeitschr. f. deut. Alt., Vol. XLIX (1907) 
p. 200. 



be the outgrowth of the more popular type of eclogue and streit- 
gedicht, but in any case it is so colored by learned reference and 
scholastic diction as to belong to the "universal" and "cosmo- 
politan" kind of mediaeval Latin poetry and to conceal all traces 
of its nativity. Various versions of this poem exist, 1 the frag- 
mentary one in the Carmina bur ana (No. 173) being the shortest 
and most vivid of them all. It was extremely popular in the 
Middle Ages and has been ascribed to Golias, Archpoet, and 

Certain metrical spriiche (proverbial verses) which deal with 
wine and water likewise betray no mark of their original home. 
The best known of these is the In cratere meo Thetis est sociata 
Lyaeo which is found in more than twenty MSS. 2 It seems now 
likely that Hugo of Orleans wrote these distichs or at least gave 
them currency in his time, but we may not be sure that he invented 
their theme. The same thought appears in several rhythmic 
pieces of the Carmina burana and was the catch of many a medi- 
aeval German drinking-song, no doubt : Reimt sich wasser nicht 
mit wein! Always, however, in learned dress : 

Cum in scypho reponuntur 

Vinum, aqua, conjunguntur; 

Talis conjunctio non est bona. (No. 173.) 

Aqua prorsus coitum 
Nequit impetrare, 
Bachus illam facile 
Solet expugnare. (No. 178.) 

Nunquam Bachus adaquari 
Se voluit, 

Nee se Liber baptizari 
Sustinuit. (No. 179.) 3 

But if we do not gain the scent of unforgettable tafellieder 
filr liedertafeln in the types of wine-songs already suggested in 

1 Cf. Wright, Walter Mapes, p. 87; Grimm, Kleinere Schriften, Vol. Ill, p. 78; Salimbene 
(1847), p. 218; Anzeiger f. Kunde, Vol. XV, p. 285; DuMeril (1854), p. 303; Novati, Carmina 
medii oevi, p. 58 ; Bibl. de Vficole de chartes, Vol. XLVII (1886), p. 2, etc. 

2 A comparative analysis of them is given by Meyer, OOttlnger Nachrichten (1907), pp. 
149 f. 

3 Cf. also the couplet 

Qui aquam ponit in Falerno 
Sit aepultus in inferno. 
Studi medievali, Vol, II, p. 566. 



this chapter, other poems afford us as rich indications of the 
vernacular and native art of Germany as any that we have found 
in Latin lyric dance-songs. The drinking-song Meum est propo- 
situm 1 cannot be cited in this connection for its parentage is not 
and perhaps never will be settled, 2 but again this poem would not 
be a case in point for us, as no matter how genial it may be it is 
part and parcel of a learned goliardic poem, and without locality 
of color. Nor, for like reasons, can we lay claim to the vulgar 
Testamentum asini 3 or such nobler products of the scholar's muse 
as the originals of Gaudeamus igitur, Lauriger Horatius, and 
Dulce cum sodalibus.* Clerical models, too, such as the antiphon 
of the "service for gamesters," Ego sum abbas cucaniensis and 
the stanza from an introit, 

Tune rorant scyphi desuper, 

Et canna pluit mustum, 

Et qui potaverit nuper, 

Bibat plus quam sit justum, 5 

1 Sandys' objection that these are the best known and most misunderstood verses of 
mediaeval poetry sounds strange in our ears; cf. Cambridge History of Eng. Lit., Vol. I, 
p. 212. Even if these lines are an allusion to the grossness of Bishop Golias and not the per- 
sonal conviction of the poet himself, how does that change matters? For a jovial song 
these verses have always been and always will be. 

2 Wilh. Meyer's direct attribution of the poem to " the veritable child of Cologne, the 
thoroughly misunderstood, most genial Latin poet of the Middle Ages " (Fragmenta burana, 
p. 21) is no more certain than the similar assignment of the In cratere meo which he has 
since discovered to belong to Hugo of Orleans. He who wishes the joy of studying all the 
redactions of this poem at once may turn to Werner, Beitrage zur Kunde d. latein. Lit. 
d. Mittelalters, pp. 200 S. 

8 Cf. especially Feifalik, " Studien zur Gesch. d. altbohmischen Lit." (Sitzungsber. d. 
Wiener ATcad., Vol. XXXVI, No. II, p. 172), Palm, "Latein. Lieder ana schlesischen Kloster- 
Bibliotheken " (Abhandlungen d. schles. Gesell. (1862), No. II, p. 95), and Novati, Carolina 
medii aevi. 

* The groundwork of these three notable songs is presumably to be found in originals 
of as early a date as the twelfth century. In his Gaudeamus (1879) 2 Peiper printed after 
the titles of the last two of the poems "Archipoetae vestigia " and later explained that he 
meant that they "as well as the Gaudeamus igitur rested on old foundations, and the for- 
gotten old songs which underlay them were to be traced back to the archpoet and goliardic 
verse. Cf. von Bfirnstein, Ubi sunt qui ante nos (1881), p. 138. Symonds likewise discovers 
that "their style is so characteristic of the Archipoeta, that I believe we may credit him 
with at least a share in their composition." Wine, Women and Song, p. 146. The bibliog- 
raphy concerning Gaudeamus is very extensive: it may be found conveniently in Barn- 
stein, pp. 103-12 and Eopp, Deutsches Volks- und Studentenlied in vorklassischer Zeit (1899) ; 
cf. also DuMeril (1847), p. 125; Klemming, "Latinska sftnger frftn Sveriges medeltid." IV 
(Cantiones morales scholast. hist, in regnoSueciae olim usit. [1887], p. 16), and Enders, Eupho- 
rion, Vol. XI (1904), pp, 381-406. 

5 A parody of Isaiah's rorate coeli de.ntper et nubes pluant justum. Curiously enough 
this very line receives another witty twisting in Gerald of Barri's tale of the Englishwoman 
who pettishly answered the priest's rorate coeli desuper with " Rorisse pe rorie ne wrthe 
nan" (i. e., your rories and ories are all to no purpose). Quoted from Sandys, Cambridge 
History of Eng. Lit., Vol. I, p. 219. 



humorously as they may tinge this poetry of wine, can still not be 
made to yield their quota in proof of a really German art. 

But it is after all not in literal phrases, in the concrete mani- 
festations of verbal identity, that we should hunt for our proof 
that Latin drinking-songs of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries 
reflect German tavern and tramp songs of the same period. It is 
rather in the implications of a text, its spirit and manner, that we 
get wind of the art which underlies it, of the source from which 
it comes. Gaston Paris built up his theory of popular origins for 
most of the French courtly lyrics and for all of the more objective 
types of mediaeval French song, although in but few cases and 
then dimly did the actual diction and figurative verbiage of his 
texts correspond to popular phrases. 1 With equal fearlessness 
and surety of touch Winterfeld has asserted that beneath the 
thin crust of mediaeval Latin we may often discern German popu- 
lar and native art. Notker's strength he believes to lie in a truly 
Swabian humor which gilds his writing as it does that of Keller 
and Morike; Roswitha on the contrary he finds austere and taci- 
turn, hiding the inner softness of her temper so that it breaks 
forth only now and then so unexpectedly and with such elemental 
force that it reminds one of Hebbel. In translating such poems 
as Roswitha's story of the founding of the convent at Gandersheim 
Winterfeld thinks the modern literary language inadequate, he 
argues that only provincial German diction may hope to repro- 
duce her "gnarled" Low-Saxon manner. 2 

That we do not recognize the truth of this more readily than 

1 Cf. particularly Paris, "Lesorigines de la poesie lyrique en France au moyen age" 
(Journal des savants, 1891, 1892) ; Jeanroy in Petit de Julleville's Histoire de la litter, franc., 
Vol. I, pp. 362 ff., and also Les origines (1904) 2, pp. 10 ff. 

2Cf. Winterfeld, Stilfragen (1902), pp. 11 ff.; Herrigs Archiv., Vol. CXIV, pp. 29 ff. 
Mediaeval Latin poetry is the meeting ground for two elements : the older epic manner of 
the so-called Dark Ages, the newer lyric manner of modern art. The former of these scholars 
have long been trying to separate from the reluctant quartz of chronicle and school-poem ; 
but the latter can be much more readily separated, I believe, and for a simple reason. We 
know so much more clearly what the canons of modern art are than we do what were those 
of dim and ancient times. One we feel instinctively, but for the other we scarcely have 
intuition ; we have rather only an appreciation based upon knowledge. Whatever there- 
fore may be the success met with by investigators who have sought the early Merovingian 
epic in Gregory of Tours ( cf. Kurth, Histoire poetique des Merovingiena [1893], Gantier in 
Julleville's Histoire, Vol. I, pp. 49 ff., 168 f.), however we may adjudge such tests as those of 
EOgel's to regain alliterative lines from poems like the Waltharivs ; when we seek for the 
more modern heimatkunst behind and within certain mediaeval Latin lyrics of spring and 
wine we are surer of oar reward. 



we do is, I believe, the fault of ourselves; we are accustomed to 
regard pedantic Latin measures from the standpoint of our "clas- 
sical" training and not quite simply as the awkward and sleasy 
house-dress which necessarily for some generations hid the quick 
life and the healthy body of native European thought and humor. 
And the mediaeval poets themselves often, generally in fact, hide 
their light laboriously under the bushel by being as unintelligible 
and artificial as they possibly can. A good illustration of this 
are certain lines of Nicholas of Bibera's Carmen satiricum. 

Sunt et ibi Scoti, qui cum fuerint bene poti, 
Sanctum Brandanum proclamant esse decanum 
In grege sanctorum vel quod deus ipse deorum 
Brandani frater, sit et ejus Brigida mater. 1 

These verses my mind had slipped comfortably over with no 
thought of what they really contained, until I read Winterfeld's 
Stilfragen; even then my first feeling was that my new guide 
was grossly exaggerating, and it took much renewed study to 
convince me that he was right in insisting that we have buried 
here the story of how the unspeakable Irishman travels about the 
Continent with his national saints and his home ways: "When 
the Irish monk has had a bit too much, he swears St. Brandan is 
dean of the whole clan of saints, God himself becomes his inti- 
mate and St. Bridget his mother." 2 

iVs. 1550-53; cf. Winterfeld, Stilfragen, p. 19, who also calls attention to how little 
compatible St. Columba showed himself with the situation in France ; and to a joke of VVala- 
frid Strabo (Neue Jahrbilcher, Vol. V, p. 345). 

2"Wirklich ein Bild im nederlandischen Stile," says Winterfeld (op. ctt., p. 20): "die 
Heiligen aller Zeiten and Zungen als eine Bauerngesellschaft in rauchiger Sch&nke. St. 
Brandan, der Baas unter Union, schlftgt just mit der Faust auf den Tisch, um seinen Worten 
mehr Nachdruck zu leihen. Gottvater, in der Weise eines h. Joseph gemalt, als freundlicher 
alter Mann mit langem weissen Barte, zwinkert mit den Augen und klopft ihm gutmtttig 
auf den Schulter, als*wollt er sagen : ' Na, Alter, ronommiere nicht zu toll, wir waren 
auch dabei.' Und im Hintergrunde statt der Mutter Maria die heilige Brigitte mit dem 
strampelndeu krahenden Christkind auf dem Schoss." Overdone I believe this picture to 
be and somewhat unwarranted in fact, but a pleasant antidote to the literality of most 
criticism of mediaeval Latin. 

Great care should be exercised, however, not to allow loose statements regarding the 
native element in Latin art to sway our judgment. Taylor, for example, in his words on 
the transition from classical to mediaeval poetry (Classical Heritage of the Middle Ages, 
pp. 297 if.) says " that the traits of the various peoples of Western Europe began to appear in 
their Latin verse and prose as through a veil." Some of what he has to offer on the score 
of "German feeling" and "Irish extravagance" is perhaps true: "the presence of rude 
German banter and rough-handed valor in the Waltharius; the almost burlesque fulsome- 
ness of the inscriptions of Columbanus' letters to Boniface IV and Gregory the Great," etc. 
But what Taylor assumes of the characteristics or tastes of Anglo-Saxon times from Latin 



We have no reason to doubt that, just as mediaeval chronicles 
and sermons were saturated with folklore of every sort, tales and 
jests, riddles and proverbs, popular custom and superstition, so 
mediaeval poetry of a learned stripe grew big with popular 
snatches of song. If it be unwise to regard the leporis planctus : 

Flevit lepus parvulus 
damans altis vocibus: 
" Quid feci hominibus, 
Quod me sequuntur canibus?" 

as the Latin reproduction of a volkslied existent as early as the 
twelfth or thirteenth century, the case still shows us how at a later 
date Hdsleirfs Klagelied became a full-fledged Latin drinking- 
round. 1 And the song of the roast swan, almost certainly sung 
when the goose was being brought to the table on St. Martin's 
day, assuredly had Latin and German congeners in the thirteenth 
century as it did in the sixteenth. 2 

We should not need the occasional German references contained 
in the Latin drinking-songs of the Carmina burana to determine 

poetry is too vague to be of service ; the alliteration, the love for riddles, personification of 
inanimateobjects these are Teutonic at least and noway specifically English. And Taylor's 
assertion concerning French esprit is visionary^ For he finds " incipient French traits," 
balance and moderation, neatness or deftness of form, in the poems of Paulinus of Kola. In 
a different way, he thinks, they also appear in Gregory of Tours' Historia, a work in which 
the Latin is acquiring some of the vivacity and pictureaqueness of Froissart [ !]. I doubt if 
students of mediaeval literature will find such rule-of-thumb characterization either help- 
ful or justified. 

1 Cf. Masamann, Anzeigerf. Kunde d. deut. Vorzeit, Vol. IV (1836), pp. 184 ff ., who printed 
it from Husemann, Perpulchri aliquot versus rythmici, 1575; GaudeamusZ, p. 186. The Ger- 
man song in four versions is in Erk's Deutscher Liederhort (1856), p. 194. 

2 Of. the Martinslieder in Uhland's Volkslieder, Nos. 205-8 and Liliencron, Deutsches 
Leben im Volkslied urns Jahr 1530; Hoffmann, In dulcijubilo (1861)2, pp. 89 f. ; Burdach, 
Walther von der Vogelweide (1900), pp. 39, 285; Mayer u. Rietsch, Die Mondtee- Wiener 
Liederhandschrift (1896), pp. 511 ff. Burdach quotes a passage from the Bonum universale 
de apibus of Thomas of Cambrai (co. 1263) which runs : "cantua turpissimus de beato Mar- 

plenus luxuriosis plausibus per diversas terras Galliae et Tentoniae promulgatus." 
He who believes as a matter of principle that it is dangerous to assume for the twelfth 
and thirteenth centuries most of the types of folksong which later times possess should read 
R. M. Meyer's suggestive discussion on this point, Zeitschr.f. deut. Alt., Vol. XXIX, pp. 224- 
36. But just in the matter of the Trinklied there is often an unbroken continuity between 
the goliard songs and later student songs in the German universities (cf . Hubatsch, p. 99 ; 
Barnstein, pp. 21, 136 ff . ; Zarncke, Die deutschen Universitdten im Mittelalter [1857] ; Specht, 
Geschichle des Unterrichtswesens [1885] ; Kauf mann, Oeschichte der deutschen Universit&ten, 
Vol. I [1888] ; and the bibliography and discussion in Spiegel's two pamphlets : Die Vaganten 
und ihr Orden [1892], Qelehrtenproletariat und Gaunertum [1902]). There is no space here 
to develop this point which is so important a one ; viz., that many of the tavern and tramp 
songs of humanistic Germany may go back in their origins to the thirteenth century at 
least by a line of direct tradition. 



the German origin of some of them. 1 Nor should we need to 
know that a number of them are found in other German MSS, 
more frequently in fact than is the case with love-songs. In 
reading these lyrics of the tavern and the road we are forcibly 
reminded of two things: first, that, fragmentary and second-rate 
as some of them are, they yet contain just the note which we have 
come to associate with German drinking-songs and with the songs 
of no other nation ; second, that in no mediaeval Latin song which 
we do not strongly suspect at least to be German in authorship 
or coloring do we find this note. And this latter thing seems to 
me very important. There are French, and English and Italian 
love-songs written in Latin which can be told from German-Latin 
love-lyrics only after much study. But the same is not true of 
lighter Latin drinking-songs. They are either assuredly German, 
or very probably so in part at least. Not every Latin poem which 
because of its theme we carelessly label "carmen potatorium" is 
German of course not. I do not know, or care, if the "drinking- 
songs" published by Winterfeld in the fourth volume of the 
Poetae latini are German; if such poems dealing with wine and 
beer as those ascribed to Marbod or Peter of Blois can be multi- 
plied a hundredfold outside of Germany, that is again immaterial. 
There are as yet discovered so far as I know no Latin drinking- 
rounds such as those in the Benedictbeuern MS which do not 
point through more than one fact to German authorship. 

Why this should be so, I cannot imagine. I have ever won- 
dered why among the modern literatures the German alone has 
accorded its wine such high honor. There are few English songs 
which immortalize sherry and port, the French have spent but little 
elevated diction on Bordeaux or Burgundy, but the German has 
wreathed Rhine-wine and Moselle into thousands of his songs and 
in the yellow light of it spoken of what moved him most: patriot- 
ism, homesickness, bereavement, and love. Now a certain manner- 
ism, if I be not mistaken, is peculiar to German komrnerslieder : 
at times it finds expression in coarse and effective parody, often it 

IE. g., No. 176: Bachns tollat vi bursarum pectora. Flavescit vhmm in vitro subrubei 
coloris ; No. 177 : Simon in Alsatiam visitare patriam venit ; No. 181 : Gens teutonica nil potat 
melius; No. 174: Schuch! clamat nudns in frigore. 



takes shape as tender mockery, sometimes it appears in the guise 
of sentimental (or maudlin) love for the maid and the scenes of 

With these things well in mind let us revert to such songs of 
love and mockery and longing as we have cited in previous chap- 
ters, many of which have doubtless come down to us because of 
their connection with the life of the tavern and the inspiration of 
festivals held within it. And then let us review the lyrics which 
deal directly with wine and visualize the scenes these call forth. 

Si quis Deciorum 
Dives officio. (No. 174.) 

This song has been rightly headed "So ist's Spielkomment." 

In taberna quando sumus, 

Non curamus quid sit humus. (No. 175.) 

A sigh and a mock in one before the exiled student proceeds to 
the long stanzas of the sacred parody that follows. 

Dum domus lapidea 

Foro sita cernitur, 

Et a fratris rosea 

Visus dum allicitur. (No. 176.) 

A stone-house on the market-place whose red wine allures. 

Hac in plana tabula 

Mora detur sedula, 

Pares nostrae sortes 

Pugnant sicut fortes. (No. 177.) 

The long table cleared for drinking. And the very next song 
(No. 178, stanzas 2-4) ' is the type of part-song heard at the table, 
first the solo and then the chorus. 

And so we close our study as we began it with German popular 
poetry sounding in our ears and German scenes about us. How- 
ever much we may have misunderstood the meaning of some of 
the Latin records above submitted in evidence, however little we 
may have been yet able to bridge over gaps which yawn here and 
there in our testimony, one fact shines forth perhaps more clearly 

iCf. Wilh. Meyer, Get. Abhandl., Vol. I, p. 327. 



than before our labor was begun : Long previous to the documented 
poetry of troubadour, trouvere, and minnesinger there existed a 
body of popular vernacular love-songs which influenced and re- 
freshed Latin lyrics of love and spring and wine, and which in 
turn these latter fed. And now I would leave my topic for a while, 
not in token of a task fulfilled but as an earnest of other work to 
come for which the present study has gathered the materials and 
built the first stepping-stones. 1 



i An Appendix to the foregoing article will appear in the January issue of this journal. 




The five methods referred to on page 85 above are as follows: 

1. If a poem appear in an earlier or better text elsewhere than in a 
German MS, the presumption is that it is of foreign extraction. The 
weakness of this method and its attendant dangers are obvious; I have 
already called attention to them in a discussion of Jeanroy's thesis that 
French lyrics were the source of German lyrics in the twelfth century 
(Modern Philology, Vol. Ill, pp. 412 f.). Particular care must be exer- 
cised in the application of this chronological test to mediaeval profane 
songs which in both France and Germany were often not documented 
until one or more generations after the poems were composed; not written 
down at least in MSS which have descended to us. Often we owe our 
knowledge of the existence of profane poetry at a certain time to the 
merest chance, such as the scribbling of a refrain on a margin of MS to 
test the scribe's pen before he began an initial, such as a phrase at the head- 
ing of a serious piece to give the tune it should be sung by, such as a 
chance reference in homily or sermon, or a tale like that of the Worcester 
priest in Gerald's Gemma ecclesiastica who said Swete lemman, dhin 
are (sweet mistress, thy favor) instead of the expected Dominus vobiscum 
(Opera Giraldi, Vol. II, p. 120; Schofield, op. cit., p. 445; Sandys, Cam- 
bridge Hist, of Eng. Lit., Vol. I, p. 219). The age and the provenience 
of a song can thus be but rarely determined with absolute definiteness. 

And as to the "better" text we may not always safely judge. Opinion 
may differ as to which of two or three texts is best; and if we agree that 
one form of a poem be preferable, the longest, finest and clearest variant 
is not necessarily the first one. Quite the contrary often, for we sometimes 
learn how one poet after another changed and added to a piece until it 
reached final shape. 

2. If vernacular phrases mingle with the Latin words of a poem, it 
is probably original in the land whose language these phrases represent. 
Here again we cannot attain definite results, particularly in macaronic 
Middle English lyrics (cf. Wright, Specimens of Lyric Poetry; ten Brink, 

1 It is a pleasant duty to acknowledge the vital help and encouragement I have received 
from Mr. George L. Hamilton, of the University of Michigan, and Mr. Edward K. Rand, of 
Harvard University. I wish the merit of my performance better justified their kindly offices 
in its behalf. My colleagues Mr. John M. Manly and Mr. Karl Pietsch have likewise been 
unfailing in criticism and suggestion. 
385] 141 [ MODERN PHILOLOGY, January, 1909 


Gesch. d. engl. Lit., Vol. I 2 , p. 354). At one time, to be sure, all Europe 
that was ambitious to learn went or longed to go to the French schools, 
just as later it looked to Italy as the fount of its inspiration. Thus it was 
possible for an Englishman like Hilary, or a German lad like the author 
of Urbs salve regia, to write a lyric with French words in it or a French 
refrain to it. At times this song is cut according to the Paris school-jib 
and perhaps had for its model some French student song; at times the 
student made a bran-new poem, incorporating in it the personal knowledge 
and experience gained at the French school, and thus wrote a piece not 
inherently English or German, but French. Sometimes, however, French 
words occur in a poem the whole cast of which otherwise is German. 
Besides which we know that vernacular words were in a few cases inserted 
in Latin pieces long after they were written. The presence in a song of 
German or English words indicates nationality more than French words 
do, for during the whole twelfth century the latter tongue was a sort of 
lingua franca for cultured Europe. 

3. Specific allusion to a country or to its customs and institutions 
may indicate the original home of a poem. I have shown with what 
circumspection this test must be used in my discussion of Nos. 51 and 88 
above. Such instances can be multiplied in Latin poems which do not 
occur in the Benedictbeuern MS; the German's song of farewell to his 
beloved Swabia, for example, which I have quoted above, p. 24, n. 3, can 
scarcely be thought of as copied from a French original. In the Germany 
of the twelfth century, as six hundred years later, Paris was die haupstadt 
der welt and France the fabled land of romance. We should, therefore, 
expect to hear echoes of this in Latin songs of German manufacture. 

4. The versification of a song may so closely resemble that of a poet 
or group of poets outside of Germany that the piece can be assigned to 
them. Any application of this test must necessarily rest mainly upon 
the well-known studies in mediaeval Latin rhythms published by Wilhelm 
Meyer (Gesammelte Abhandlungen, 2 vols, 1905). Schreiber first put 
this method forth to determine which of the Latin songs in the Carmina 
burana were of German origin, in his Die Vagantenstrophe (1894). His 
conception of Latin rhythms was colored by Meyer's essay uber die la- 
teinischen Rythmen (Sitzungsber. d. Miinchener Akad., 1882, I) and 
Dreves' Petri Abaelardi hymnarius (1891), aided here and there by the 
views of Richard M. Meyer, Martin, Burdach, and Wallenskold. For the 
sake of discussion I should be willing to accept many of the more general 
statements of Schreiber about mediaeval lyric measures as true. But 
when he would apply his results to individual poems in the Carmina 
burana and thus decide which songs are French, which songs German, 
it is not safe to follow. 

For practically every text in the Benedictbeuern MS has to be recon- 



structed before its rhythm can be known. Such restored versions are 
based in nearly every instance at least partly on guesswork subtle and 
clever guessing sometimes, but none the less guessing. The foundation 
of Schreiber's argument is, therefore, at any one moment shaky, often un- 
scientific. The Bacon authorship of Shakespeare can be made many times 
more plausible than it is if each investigator of the problem be permitted to 
add and subtract at will. In one poem of five stanzas (No. 109) Schreiber 
has conjectured the following words: denuo, lepida, victa, feminae, libere, 
a diis, Taydis, attamen, unico, spatio, oculi, absque te, sine te, mihi nunc, 
tu, and the inflectional ending -eres. Does the sense require these addi- 
tions? No; the piece is an intelligible and poetic whole without them. 
Why did he add them then? In order to get three additional syllables 
in three verses of each stanza and thus bring the poem up to the form he 
presupposed. Where did he get these words? Partly from the Alter- 
catio Ganymedis et Helenae (Zeitschr.f. deut. Alt., Vol. XVIII, pp. 127 f .; 
Notices et extraits, Vol. XXIX, Pt. II, pp. 274 f.), partly out of his own 
head. Is there any proven connection between the altercatio and 
No. 109? No. 

Supposing we should thus remold Browning, or Tennyson, trimming 
them up with chosen bits from Shelley or Coleridge. It makes the per- 
spiration start but to imagine it. What with garbled texts then, and with 
all reasonable allowance for similarity, coincidence even, of meter and 
rhythm, I cannot agree to the employment of verse-tests to bring about a 
final decision as to the origin of a song, in a period where we are still so 
much in the dark as here. 

Schreiber, however, treated only the vagantenstrophe. Lundius has 
come to carry on the verse-test method by examining all the technical 
details of the Benedictbeuern Latin songs to get criteria to determine 
their birthplace (Zeitschr. f.deut. Phil., Vol. XXXIX, pp. 330-493). He 
assumes a time of efflorescence with a certain definite art -technique; this 
period is one which comprises Adam of St. Victor, Walter of Chatillon, 
the St. Omer Songs, the poems of the Archpoet, the songs printed by 
Wright, and the great mass of hymns published by Mone and Dreves! 
A period, that is, that lasted several hundred years, that stretched from 
London to Rome and included three or four of the great cultural nations 
of modern Europe. The art of this period, Lundius states, is marked by 
several definite characteristics. Where these are deviated from, some- 
thing is wrong; perhaps the song is German. Exempli gratia, "the art of 
the period of bloom .... strictly preserved the number of syllables in a 
verse" (p. 335). "On the contrary in the songs of our collection we meet 
frequently offenses against the syllabic equality of lines. This phenom- 
enon finds a simple explanation if one posits the influence of the German 
national metrical law as the cause of the disturbance " (p. 461). Forty - 



nine pieces are discovered to offend against the law of syllable equality 
Lundius declares these pieces German. Likewise, thirty or more of the 
songs in the Carmina burana have especially impure rhyme (p. 476), the 
rhymes of the St. Omer songs are particularly pure, therefore " impurity 
of rhyme is a characteristic of German songs." And so on. And so forth. 

I am not aiming at Lundius. His performance, or rather the vast 
detail of it, impresses me somewhat. Verse-tests carried out no more 
faithfully than his have blazed the way for our understanding of whole 
sorts and times of poetic effort; Chaucer, for instance, and his relation 
to fourteenth-century English meters. But we know Chaucer was an 
Englishman; who and what (man or men) was the Archpoet? We know 
within narrow compass the dates of Chaucer's writings. When was 
written "the great mass of hymns published in Mone and Dreves?" 
What did Walter of Chatillon write? Just the Aleacandreis and a few 
stilted narrative poems, or a swarm of songs like those " commonly attrib- 
uted to Mapes"? And finally, what text of a song may be trusted? 
That one which Wilhelm Meyer (to name but the great name) has "re- 
stored" shortly before he makes a sweeping assertion that " up to now I 
have found only in Germany Latin songs of the eleventh, twelfth, and 
thirteenth centuries with disparate number of syllables" ? (Gesammelte 
Abhandlungen, Vol. I, p. 250.) 

This tireless investigator has recently extended his study of the syl- 
labic inequality in earlier Latin verses and believes the phenomenon to 
be caused by the influence of the old German four-stressed line ( Vier- 
heber); cf. "Ein Mero winger Rythmus u. altdeutsche Rythmik in latei- 
nischen Versen," Gdttinger Nachrichten, 1908, pp. 31-81. But clearly as 
he is able to show the disturbing influence of such ictus on the usually 
schematic Latin line, helpful as the results of his study may be in 
strengthening our belief that certain poems are of German workmanship, 
there is undoubted danger, in the light of our present knowledge, in 
making the unsupported assertion that every Latin line whose syllables 
are apparently influenced by such ictus is German in origin. 

Meyer himself cites the case of Dhuoda's poems (cf. Bondurant, Le 
manuel de Dhuoda [1887], pp. 47, 225, 228, 240; Traube, Karolingische 
Dichtungen [1888], pp. 141-148). Dhuoda was married in Aachen in the 
year 824, was duchess of Septimania, and wrote her verses in Uzes near 
the lower Rhone. Meyer acknowledges that she scarcely can have had 
anything to do with German verse-makers, but surmises, on the basis of 
his syllable-test alone, that she may have been the daughter of a Frankish 
house, and either in her parents' home or in her own have come to know 
the agreeable, fresh and diversified Franco-German popular rhythms and 
to use them to enliven the monotonous Latin rhythmical form of her four 
poems. To the query why Dhuoda did not imitate the native, popular 



Gallic rhythms, Meyer answers that the existence of old French and 
Provencal poems at that time must first be proved. 

Except as contributory evidence, to join with other testimony of the 
paternity of a poem in order to establish its birthplace, I do not think 
we can yet accept either impure rhyme or syllabic inequality. 

5. Internal testimony (such as treatment of theme, symbolism, man- 
ner) may suggest an un- German source for a song. This I believe to be 
the worst and the best of all five methods according as we administer 
it. At its worst the method is utterly untrustworthy, for it is based upon 
some preconceived assumption. To give an illustration : There is a wide- 
spread belief, which I have already referred to, that German poets during 
the twelfth century, whether secular or clerical, were less able to write a 
correct Latin song than their French brethren. It may be true that the 
French were the authors of all the mediaeval Latin lyrics worth the hav- 
ing; but how shall we prove it? The Archpoet may still be a German, if 
you wish, and so may an occasional poet in the Carmina burana. It is 
unsafe to decide against an anonymous Latin lyric of springtime and love 
as a German production, just because one rather gathers without the 
slightest show of reason that to be German in the twelfth century one 
must be comparatively stupid. 

At its best the fifth method is subjective. It demands that others see 
the matter as do we, and there is no absolute analytical test that it can 
employ to educe proof. But, if we are careful, this method leads to sug- 
gestive if not final results and joins with other, tests to establish as great 
certainty as we may reach until fuller revelation comes. It is no precon- 
ceived assumption that the presence of one kind of style, diction, word- 
vocabulary, one manner of theme-treatment, one type of figurative 
imagery, has always been an inalienable part of popular German poetry. 
If we are right in thinking now and again that we get strong hints of 
such volkslied-sjmbolism in a Latin lyric, the presumption is that the 
latter is somehow German in origin. We don't know much about the 
stupidity of twelfth-century German lyric poets, but we do know some- 
thing of their manner of writing; for it is on the one hand documented 
in early minnesang, on the other hand we may reason at times from the 
analogy of later texts. Just as surely do we know something of early 
French popularizing poetry: the pastourelle and the romance, for 
example. These types exhibit in their turn a certain style and diction. 
We cannot be sure all French poets that wrote Latin were bright, but 
we may decide that a Latin lyric is French in origin, if it show the verbal 
figurative atmosphere of a French chansonnette. 

We need not be surprised to discover that the more mechanical and 
mathematical methods of studying a Latin lyric which was wafted across 
Europe for two centuries are not always the safest. Nor may we rightly 


scoff at applying in our study the test of style and diction. Let us only 
mock when the application is not intelligently or honestly made. 

"Modern" nature-sense. It has been often felt that a dividing 
line may be established between antique and modern treatment of nature 
in epic and lyric verse. Nature description in the classical poets, partic- 
ularly the Romans, is sometimes held to be a bye-production, an occa- 
sional embellishment, a thing to be done with a few strokes, more indicated 
than carried out in detail (cf. Baehrens, Unedirte lateinische Gedichte 
[1877], p. 35); whereas modern art has assigned to nature an independent 
importance, sentimentalizes its every delicate particular, discovers in it a 
latent sympathy for every possible human emotion. 

I doubt if this difference of attitude toward nature should be made 
a criterion of different ages of poetic art. I believe it rather a distin- 
guishing characteristic of separate kinds of poetry within the same period. 
One sort of nature treatment is epic (objective), the other lyric (subjective); 
the first kind views nature from without, the other sees it from within. 
Any period of poetic art of which we have full record would, I believe, 
show both attitudes. This statement is important for one reason, if for 
no other. We speak of the "evolution of nature-sense in poetry," as if it 
were something that grows from an original grain of. mustard until it 
becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches 
thereof. Rather, I imagine, does this nature-sense dwell in every age, to 
come to fuller expression in such times as are most given to the writing 
of lyrical poetry. Did we not know for example that the following 
description of nature occurred in the Easter-sequence of Notker, we might 
well imagine it the work of Adam of St. Victor nearly three hundred years 

Favent igitur 

resurgent! Christo cuncta gaudiis: 
Flores, segetes 

redivivo fructu vernaut, 
et volucres 

gelu tristi terso dulce jubilant. 
Lucent clarius 

sol et luna morte Christ! turbida; 
Tell us herbida 

resurgenti plaudit Christo, 
quae tremula 

ejus morte se casuram minitat. 

Cf. Mone, Lateinische Hymnen, Vol. I, p. 201, Schubinger, Die Sdnger- 
schule St. Gallens, p. 48, Winterfeld, Neue Jahrbiicher, Vol. V, p. 355, 
Gautier, CEuvres d'Adam de S. V., Vol. I, p. 82: 

Mundi renovatio 

nova parit gaudia, 
Resurgent! domino 

conresurgunt omnia. 



Similar nature-parallelism of a direct kind was frequent enough in secular 
poems of St. Gall and Keichenau, if we believe the testimony of the songs 
of welcome which Walafrid, Ratpert, and Notker addressed to visiting 
sovereigns, e. g.: 

Innovatur nostra laetos 

Terra flores proferens; 

Ver novum praesentat aestas, 

Dum datur te cernere. 

Plus hodie solito radiat BO! clarus in alto, 
Cumque serena venis nubila cuncta teris. 
Ploribus arva nitent, quia te nos visere cernunt, 
Poetibus atque solum germinat omne bonum. 

Haec ipsa gaudent tempora, 
Floreque verno germinant 
Adventus omni gaudio, 
Quando venit optatior. 

There is nothing in the tone of these nature-pictures to remind one of the 
ninth or tenth century. 

But, no matter! Suppose we feel it incumbent upon us to keep the 
adjective " modern " when speaking of nature treatment in poetry. Then 
we must make this word so elastic that it includes the fourth century of 
our era. For such verses as the Pervigilium Veneris or one of the poems 
ascribed to Tiberianus (not mentioned by Glover, Life and Letters in the 
Fourth Century!) are colored by "modern" sentiment. 

Amnis ibat inter arva valle f usus frigida, 

Luce ridens calculorum, flore pictus herbido. 

Caerulas superne laurus et yirecta myrtea 

Leniter motabat aura blandiente sibilo; 

Subtus autem molle gramen flore adultp creverat: 

Turn croco solum rubebat et lucebat liliis 

Et netnus fragrabat omne violarum sub spiritu. 

Inter ista dona veris gemmeasque gratias 

Omnium regina odorum vel colorum Lucifer 

Aureo flore eminebat cura Cypridis rosa. 

Antra muscus et virentes intus myrtus vinxerant. 

Roscidum nemus rigebat inter uda gramina: 

Fonte crebro murmurabant hinc et inde rivuli; 

Quae fluenta labibunda guttis ibant lucidis. 

Has per umbras omnis ales plus canora quam putes 

Cantibus vernis strepebat et susurris dulcibus; 

Hie loquentis murmur amnis concinebat frondibus, 

Quis melos vocalis aurae musa zefyri moverat. 

Sic euntem per virecta pulchra odora et musica . 

Ales amnis aura lucus flos et umbra juverat. 

Cf. Baehrens, op. cit., p. 34. 

Recovering a song. To reconstruct the text of a lyric poem on the 
basis of a single corrupt MS is technically an inadmissible thing. The 
temptation to do so has, however, assailed most investigators of mediaeval 
poetry and many have been their lapses from grace. For several years I 
was sorely tried by No. 89 of the Carmina burana. The theme of it was, 



it seemed to me, " When the devil was sick, the devil a monk would be,'' 
or as the libertine Serlo of Wilton expressed it: "Dum fero languorem, 
/fero relligionis amorem; /Expers languoris, /non sum memor hujus 
amoris." Cf. Haur6au, Notices et extraits de quelques MSS, Vol. I, p. 314; 
II, p. 213. We have a prose rendering of the same story in Caesarius of 
Heisterbach's Dialogus miraculorum, cap. XVI (ed. Stange, 1851; cf. also 
Kaufmann, Zeitschr. des Vereins fur rheinische Geschichte, Vol. 1, 1862). 
The archpoet Nicolaus, fearing a mortal sickness, joins the Cistercians, but 
when danger is past he throws off his cowl with a jest and flees; cf. Leip- 
ziger Blatter fur Pddagogik, Vol. VI (1872), p. 41. Our poem contains 
three eight-versed stanzas, indicating the liveliest sort of dialogue between 
a stricken son afraid of death and wishing therefore to take vows and a 
father who urges against such a step. At the end comes swiftly and 
without warning a quick break of mood worthy of Heine. These three 
stanzas form a whole that is light, witty, and dramatic, if we change two 
evident mistakes (f rater thrice to pater ; floribus to fletibus), and allow 
the substitution of the feminine gender for the masculine in the last three 
verses of the second eight-versed stanza). Without this change, the piece 
was, I thought, to be regarded as either incoherent or sodomitic. 

Between the first two eight-versed stanzas, however, come ten quatrains 
didactic in tendency, retarding the action, broadly animadverting upon 
the contrasts of heavenly and earthly life. In a word, our poem at once 
becomes a debat, a conflictus. The wit of the poem is destroyed and the 
tone of it spoiled to modern notion by these interpolations. We have 
dozens of examples in the Carmina burana of patched-together songs. 
It is interesting to know that by treating No. 89 in a way which experience 
has seemed to justify in other cases, by removing part of it that ill agrees 
with the rest, by restoring a reading that may have been altered to suit 
the needs of a patchwork song, we have a lyric left us which is so unique 
an instance of clever humor as to stand strikingly forth. What perhaps 
took place was that a monk or clerk attracted by the dramatic quality of 
the piece, and its treatment of a theme which appealed to mediaeval 
taste the antithesis of carnal and ascetic pursuits turned a lyric into 
a conflictus. One of the most popular school-books in the twelfth and 
thirteenth centuries was the Ecloga of Theodulus, as Mr. Hamilton 
reminds me. It inspired many a schularbeit it may have spoiled many 
a lyric (cf. Selbach, Das Streitgedicht in der altprovenz. Dichtung 

" Son: Father, quick with help and counsel, I'm dying and would be 
a monk. Father: A plague upon logic! It drives clerks to exile and 
wretchedness. But then you'll no more see him [her] you love, the poor 
pretty N. the clerk (the mistress). Son: Alack! Whatever to do I know 
not, I drift in the desert without help. Dry your tears, father, perhaps I 
am getting better I've changed my mind anyhow and shall be no monk." 



If such twisting of a song be considered idle trifling, let us remember 
the happy chance that led to Wilhelm Meyer's restoration of two songs 
out of two fragments, with some trimming of the crust that overlapped 
the edges of the pastry-tin! (Nos. 81 and 169). Two stanzas of No. 108 
are a gloss made by boiling down Juventinus. A similar denkvers ruins 
No. 33. No. 174 is rebuilt of bricks from a demolished No. 36, and No. 
176 owes most to No. 37, a little to Nos. 179 and CLXXXVI, and the rest 
doubtless to an as yet undiscovered source. So runs on the tale. And 
while I should by no means urge my restoration of No. 89, I cannot yet 
quite discredit it. Others presumably can and will. 

Peiper long ago called attention to the similarity between the verses 
in this song 

O ars dialectica 
Numquam esses cognita, 
Quae tot facis clericos 
Exules ac miseros, 

and lines in the Amphitryon of Vitalis; cf. the editions of Osann (1836), 
Miiller (1840); Bibl. de VEcole des chartes, 2 e ser., Vol. IV, p. 486, and 
especially Cloetta, Beitr. z. Littgesch. d. Mittelalters, Vol. I, pp. 68 ff., 
152 f . " What reader of Freytag's Bilder aus der deutschen Vergangen- 
heit" askes Peiper, "does not at such a time think of the Gothic king 
Theodahad whose weak brain had been confused by Roman rhetors?" 
Cf. Mullenbach, Comoediae eJegiacae (1885) and Peiper, "Die profane 
Komodie des Mittelalters," Archivfiir Litteraturgeschichte, Vol. V (1876), 
p. 518. 

Populariiy of nugae amatoriae. We should not be too ready to 
believe that Peter of Blois's lighter songs possessed a popularity beyond 
the power of flood, fire, or ruin to destroy (supra, p. 65); that Abelard 
wrote lyrics which were on everybody's lips (p. 23); that Walter's poems 
resounded through all France (pp. 23, 67); that people generally knew of 
the mocking satires of young Bernard, etc. That sort of statement must 
be taken with as many grains of salt as must mediaeval ascriptions of 
poetry to a distant, unknown, or fictitious author. It was a common 
exaggeration in the Middle Ages to assume more or less world-wide 
popularity for mediocre performances. Thus in a letter of the late eleventh 
century (Ivonis, Carnutensis episcopi, epistolae Ixvi, Ixvii) we hear the 
following about a poor bishop of Orleans: "Quidam enim concubii sui 
appellantes eum Floram multas rithmicas cantilenas de eo composuerunt, 
sicut nostis miseriam terrae illius, per urbes Franciae in plateis et com- 
pitis cantitantur." Thus again Wolter in his Chronica bremensis speaks 
of a certain Otbert who early in the thirteenth century was known every- 
where for his pretended miracles ("et f ama ejus in omni terra personuit") : 
" carmina elogica fuerunt de eo facta et cantata in viis." Cf . Du Menl 



(1847), p. 5, n. 2; p. 193, n. 6. Examples of such hyperbole might be 
readily multiplied. 

Lighter songs that were popular were ascribed to the famous church- 
men and schoolmen of the Middle Ages, and conversely the songs ascribed 
to them were thought of as popular. Walter's boast of the vogue of his 
musical songs did not seem strange to that posterity which overvalued 
his Alexandreis. This bulky poem was one of the oftenest read school- 
texts until the sixteenth century; it was considered by many superior to 
the work of Vergil and Ovid; its maxims were quoted by writers of the 
Middle Ages along with the epigrams of classical authors (Giesebrecht* 
Allg. Monatsschr., 1853, 369). It is easy to understand how students 
came to grant ready credence to overstatements regarding the wide dis- 
semination of the school-lyrics of Walter and others. 

Jjyrics of reflection,. A dozen times I was near changing my dis- 
cussion of the didactic lyric (pp. 32 f .), to include under a separate rubric 
lyrics of reflection. Moralizing poems are as a general rule without the 
pale of lyric expression, but if they happen to achieve individuality like 
Serlo's Ego quondam filius (Zeitschr. f. deut. Alt., Vol. V, p. 297; Werner, 
Beitrage, p. 147), if they are clothed in musical stanzas, if they gain and 
hold our sympathy, it is difficult to dismiss them unmentioned. Grober 
(Grundriss, Vol. II, pp. 379-80) sufficiently indicates the type I mean, but 
when we study such a group of songs as he lists we discover that though 
they are at times briefer and simpler in cadence and rhyme than most 
lehrgedichte, the difference is apt to be but one of degree and not of kind. 
It was this sort of planctus that monks and clerks embellished and over- 
loaded until the original appeal was lost in the euphuistic mazes of swollen 
diction. To choose but one example, and that of a high order of merit : the 
Cygnus exspirans (Daniel, Thesaurus hymnologicus, Vol. IV, p. 351) is a 
poem of some direct effectiveness. It opens with a stanza that promises 

the best: 

Parendum est, cedendum est, 
Claudenda vitae scena; 
Est jacta sors, me vocat more, 
Haec hora est postrema: 
Valete res, valete spes; 
Sic finit cantilena. 

But scarce are we launched in the planctus which consists of 72 lines 
when acervation commences and simplicity ends. Judged by this standard 
several songs of the Carmina burana are of much lyric worth. These 
are not the famous Versa est in luctum cythara Waltheri (LXXXVI) 
although the refrains indicate it was meant to be sung, nor Licet aeger 
cum aegrotis (LXXI; cf. Wright, Political Songs, p. 44; Kingsford, 
English Historical Review [1890], p. 325; Dreves, Analecta hymnica, 
Vol. XXI, p. 145), nor Ecce torpet probitas (LXVII; with two refrains; 
cf. Anzeiger f. Kunde d. d. Vorzeit, Vol. VII, col. 294; Schreiber, 



Vagantenstrophe, p. 168), nor yet any of iheplanctus in either Christmas 
play or Passion play (CCII, CCIII). Even No. VI, graceful as it is in 
manner, is hardly a song in point because of its grimness of conception 
and the generality of its phrasing. But Nos. X (Dum juventus floruit) 
and LXIX (Florebat olim studium are musical, not over-earnest, indi- 
vidual in note, and sing themselves. The first runs: 

Dum juventus floruit, 


Et libuit 

Facere quod placuit, 
Juxta voluntatem 


Carnis voluptatem; 

and the second is no less happy. The theme of its forty-eight verses is 
that the clerks are to blame for the decay of learning which in common with 
all things good is gone quite to the dogs. Scholastic allusion abounds; we 
hear of Brunei's ass (Nigel Wireker, Speculum stultorum), of Gregory, 
Jerome, the bishop Wikterp of Regensburg, Augustine, Benedict, Mary, 
Martha, Leah, Rachel, Caro, and Lucrece, but even this ill custom can 
not stale its infinite variety. 

Had there been in all the range of mediaeval Latin lyrics further 
songs like these, they would have had separate place in the body of the 
study. But each in its own way these pieces are conspicuous for their 
isolation in the species to which they belong. 

FrauenstropHen. Curious, it seems to me, is the contention of 
Wilmanns (Walther von der Vogelweide, 1882, p. 165) that if the women- 
stanzas (cf. supra, p. 109) presuppose earlier lyric models than those of 
minnesang these must be songs of professional female minstrels such as 
can be shown to have existed in Romance countries at this time. " The 
position in life occupied by these girls permitted them to give frank 
utterance in song to devoted love and ardent longing, from which a natural 
reserve and feminine modesty withheld other women. During his Italian 
journey bishop Wolfger of Passau had opportunity to get such puellae 
cantantes to sing to him." 

Even were it necessary to believe women composed thefrauenstrophen, 
we should scarcely seek their origin in the performances of miminnen, 
jongleuresses, and spielmanninnen, for there is nothing in the presumptive 
work and calling of such creatures, in so far as we learn of them, that 
would inspire the tender lines under discussion. 

Stim,mun<jsbrechung. To the examples of sudden break of mood 
instanced above (pp. 8, 91) add 

Ecce laetantur omnia, 
Quaeque dant sua gaudia, 
Excepto me qui gratia 
Amicae meae careo. 



(Du M6ril [1847], p. 234, from a xiii-century French MS). The same song 
contains a much simpler minnegruss than Carmina burana no. 82 (cf . 

supra p. 14): 

Quot sunt arenae littore, 
Quot folia in arbore, 
Quot rami sunt in nemore, 
Tot dolores suetineo; 
Ob hoc infirmus corpore, 
Quod hanc tenere nequeo. 

Rursus quot sunt in aethere 
Astra, vel quot sub aere 
Homines credo vivere, 
Tot vicibus congaudeo 
Cum possum mane tangere 
Quam semper mente video. 

Literati and laid. Add to the four quotations under this heading 
(cf. supra, p. 123, note 2): 

Nuper ego didici, quod semper sunt inimici 
Clerici et laici, solet hoc per saecula dici. 

Cf. Romanische Forschungen, Vol. Ill, p. 285. Schmeller in a note to 
the Mass of Gamesters (Carmina burana, p. 249) remarks that the fol- 
lowing is written on the margin of the MS in a later hand than that of 
the original scribe: Omnipotens sempiterne deus, qui inter rusticos et 
clericos magnam discordiam seminasti, praesta quaesumus de laborious 
eorum vivere, de mulieribus ipsorum vero et de morte Deciorum semper 
gaudere. In a mock-mass of a later time still Werner (Beitrdge, p. 212) 
discovers a similar passage: 

Audi nos. Nam rustic!, qui sunt semper contra nos. 

Da eis aquam bibere, 

Da nobis vinum bonum consumere. 
Vers.: Rustici sunt laeti 

Quando sunt repleti 
Resp. : .Et sunt inflati 

Quando sunt inebriati. 

Deus, qui multitudinem rusticorum congregasti 

Et magnam discordiam inter eos et nos seminasti, 

Da, quaesumus, ut laboribus eorum fruamur 

Et ab uxoribus eorum diligamur, 

Per omnia pocula poculorum. Amen. 

In the Ass's Testament (cf . supra, p. 134) the shoe seems to be on the 
other foot, for the dying animal of the rustic finds strength to make his 

will as follows: 

Vocem dat cantoribus, 
Collum potatoribus, 
Virgam dat scholaribus. 

Rhymed letters and laudatory odes. Lack of space forbade 
quoting sufficient examples of the gallant and amorous versification (cf. 
supra, pp. 72-76) in vogue at the French schools in the twelfth century, 
to show how stilted and conventionalized it was. He who would learn at 
a glance the manner of such stereotyped utterance may conveniently do 



so by running over several numbers of MS C. 58/275 in the City Library of 
Zurich (Werner, Beitrage zur Kunde der lateinischen Literatur des Mit- 
telalters[1905]: 48,49,66,116-121) and contrasting them with populariz- 
ing billets doux such as no. 141 of the Carmina burana, which begins : 

O mi dilectissima, 
Vultu serenissima 
Et mente lege sedula 
Ut mea ref ert littera. 

Manda liet! manda liet! 

Min geeelle chumet niet. 

The Zurich MS was quite certainly the work of a German clerk who 
studied at French schools like Orleans and Paris and brought home to 
Germany with him this notebook, the fruit of his labors. It contains 
something of every type of poetry current in his day and gives an adequate 
idea of what was going forward at the time. A short consideration of the 
material in this book will convince any doubter that neither the goliard 
lyric or the popular lyric grew on any such trunk. There are but a hand- 
ful of pieces among the four hundred which comprise the MS that have 
either life or the popular breath in them: e. g., nos. 15 of the Jew that fell 
into the privy; 90 Snow-child; 149 Spring-song; 197 Marbod's description 
of the beauty of spring; 342, 343 Two famous parting songs of the clerk 
off for school; 365 Confession of Golias; 386 Serlo's apostrophe to a mis- 
spent life not a dozen numbers in all. 

German fabliaux. Although Be"dier defines fabliaux as conies a 
rire en vers (Les fabliaux, 1895 2 , pp. 28 ff.) he dates the first one 1159 
(cf. his monograph on the 'fabliau de Kicheut' in Etudes dediees d-M. G. 
Paris, 1891). Neglecting the German fabliaux of a much earlier time 
which are contained in the Cambridge MS, Be"dier is thus able to estab- 
lish his contes as distinctively French types, exemplars of the 'esprit 
gaulois,' etc. Ker (Dark Ages, p. 227) with a clearer because more un- 
prejudiced vision writes as follows: "The comic literature of Germany 
has never had much credit from other nations, though they have been 
ready to live on it without acknowledgment, borrowing Till Owlglass and 
other jesters. In the Middle Ages Germany is ahead of France in a kind 
which is reckoned peculiarly French; the earliest fabliaux are in German 
Latin, with Swabians for comic heroes the story of the Snow-Child, and 
the other How the Swabian Made the King say 'That's a story.' The 
former one with considerable elegance in phrasing tells a story fit for 
the Decameron ; the other with less ambition gives one of the well-known 
popular tales a monstrous lie rewarded with the hand of the king's 
daughter. The malice of the Snow-Child is something different from 
anything in vernacular literature till the time of Boccaccio and Chaucer; 
the learned language and the rather difficult verse perhaps helping to 
refine the mischief of the story. It is self-conscious, amused at its own 
craft: a different thing from the ingenuous simplicity of the French 



" merry tales," not to speak of the churlish heaviness of the worst among 
them." Ker could have added to his enumeration of early German fabliaux 
the tales of Heriger and Alfrad, at least, without exceeding B6dier's defi- 
nition, even if it should be felt that Unibos (Gevatter Einochs), and certain 
shorter animal tales like Priester und Wolf or Hahn und Fuchs scarcely 
came within the category. 

Other lugenmarchen that have come down to us in the early poetry of 
the cloister are the Three Brothers and the Goat and Notker's Mushroom 
(cf. Poetae aevi Karolini, Vols. II, p. 474, IV, p. 336; Neue Jahrbucher, 
Vol. V, pp. 347 ff., Winterfeld, Stilfragen, pp. 15 ff.), one written by 
Notker, it may be, the other by Ekkehard IV. When we recall the droll 
tales mentioned above, when we remember the precious humor and satire 
which breathes at times in the Gesta Karoli (Eishere, the Goblin and the 
Farrier, the Bishop and the Jew) and the Casus Sancti Galli (Heribald 
and the Hungarians, the Scourging of Sindolf , Hadwig at the Hohentwiel), 
when we view Wichart's son's satire De amicitia et conubio (Keinz, 
Zeitschr. f. deut. Phil., Vol. IV, p. 145), Walafrid's reply to Probus, 
Ermenrich's yarn about Homer, Orcus and the Louse, Liutprand's story 
of the pranks of Emperor Leo, or Rather's fable of the Frog and the 
Mouse it is difficult for us to credit the statement that the first conte a 
rire en vers was French and of the year 1159. 

Tenth-century culture. In an earlier essay (Modern Philology, 
Vol. Ill, p. 424) two records of the tenth century are used to bring into 
sharp contrast the dulness and the brilliance of imagination which char- 
acterized that time, and to prove that offhand summing-up of this period 
as one of gloom is unadvisable. Bartoli, for example, to quote but one 
incisive critic among many, says: "II medio evo non pensa: esso non ha 
che un sentimento solo predominante, quello dell' oltremondano, che lo 
preoccupa, lo absorbe, lo atterrisce e lo inebria" (Iprecursori del rinasci- 
mento, p. 19). Better far than Bartoli's one-sided assertion is Ker's set- 
ting-off of Gerbert of Rheims and Rodulph Glaber against each other: 
"Gerbert is followed in literary history by Rodulphus, like a hero with a 
comic squire: Rodulphus represents the permanent underlay er of mediaeval 
absurdity above which Gerbert rises so eminently; the two together make 
it impossible to arrive at any easy generalization about the culture of the 
Dark Ages. Gerber's letters are those of a man for whom there were 
other interests besides rhetoric and philosophy, they admit one to a close 
acquaintance with the very life of that obscure time, and a knowledge of 
actual motives and character. Some of his short notes have the same 
kind of reality as Cicero's, being not records or reflections but practical 
agents in a great revolution. Rodulphus' book is one of the most authentic 
renderings anywhere to be found of the average mind of the time both 
in the contents of the mind, visions, portents, stories, and in its artless, 



movement from any point to any circumference. He has sometimes been 
treated too heavily, as if the whole Middle Age were summed up in 
Rodulphus Glaber. That is not so." (Dark Ages, pp. 198 f.) 

In other words, the tenth century like any other was a time of many 
possibilities. So far as the lyric is concerned, monks were apt to write 
monkish odes, minstrels were quite as sure to compose musical songs. 
There is no lyric poem out of earlier cloister-life warmer than Walafrid's 
Elegy to Home (Poetae aeviKaroUni,Vol, II, p. 412), but the Cambridge MS 
alone is sufficient to show what the minstrels were doing. We should not 
interpret the culture of the tenth century in terms of either type by itself. 

Profane lyrics in Latin plays: Taylor has shown (Modern Phi- 
lology, Vols. IV, pp. 605 ff., V, pp. 1 ff.) the influence of Middle English 
religious lyrics on the development of the drama; cf. also Thien, tTber 
die englischen Marienklagen (1906). Wechssler performed a like service 
for the Romance planctus (1893) and SchOnbach for the German (1874). 
Bibliography in Taylor, p. 606, note 1, and Chambers, Medieval Stage, 
Vol. II, p. 39. The former promises soon a paper on the influence of the 
satire of the day upon Corpus Christi plays; it is to be hoped he will 
extend his work to include the didactic lyric and the lyric of reflection. 
But no one has as yet undertaken to examine all the evidence that exists to 
show how dependent the mediaeval church- and school-plays were upon 
the profane, erotic lyrics of their time. 

Santangelo (Studio sullapoesia goliardica, pp. 46 f .) made a beginning 
by grouping together the Latin lyrics which occur in Christmas and 
Easter plays in three instances (Carmina bur ana, nos. 202, 203; Du 
Me"ril [1847], p. 213). One can scarcely blame Gerhoh of Reichersberg 
and Herrad of Landsberg for their censure of ecclesiastical plays, if many 
of them contained such verses as those employed in the Benedictbeuern 
Easter play (Carmina burana, pp. 92, 149, 275; a completer version in 
Haure"au, Not. et Extr., Vol. XXIX, ii, p. 314); of which it will suffice to 
give the last two stanzas: 

Respondent! metus Tantalus admotum 

Trahit hanc ad fletus Non amitto potum; 

Sed natura laetus Sed ne meum totum 

Amor indiscretus Frustret ilia votum, 

Queam Suo 

Lineam Denuo 

Jam pudoris tangere, Collo jungens brachium 

Meam Ruo, 

In earn Diruo 

Manum mittit propere. Tricaturam crurium. 

Dum propero, Ut virginem 

Vim inferp, Devirginem, 

Post imminente machina. Me totum toti insero, 

Nee supero, Ut cardinem 

Nam aspero Determinem, 

Defenders ungue limina Duellum istud resero. 

Obserat introitue. Gloriar victoria. 


It is difficult to determine in the light of such evidence whether songs 
like these were inserted in dramas for the purpose of lending the required 
tone of wordliness, the desirable contrast to the godly conversation else- 
where employed, or whether the opportunity was taken to introduce 
scabrous material for its own sake. 

Tlie Meaning of "goliard." Schonbach complains that council- 
decrees and synod-statutes which deal with the attitude of the church 
toward the popular festivals and entertainments^ have not been investi- 
gated with sufficient care and accuracy. He demands that Spanish enact- 
ments of the seventh century which have been handed down in tran- 
sumpts be not utilized in determining the state of German culture during 
the twelfth century (Die Anfdnge des Minnesangs, p. 3). Now the 
first decree regarding goliards is the order of Gautier of Sens (d. 913), 
the last is the concilium Frisingense (1440), more than 500 years apart. 
These statutes are given in Germany, France, and England; some of 
them speak of the goliard specifically as of a certain class of person, 
some of them particularly the later ones treat him as any sort of 
entertainer. It is equally dangerous to generalize from one of these 
decretals or to particularize from them all together. Santangelo (op. cit., 
p. 14) asserts: "I goliardi furono giullari e non scolari vaganti: proverb 
che non furon nemrneno poeti, cioe gli autori della poesia goliardica." 
This statement is doubtless true of some goliards in some country at 
some time between the Dark Ages and the Renaissance Chaucer's 
goliardeys for example was a miller and no clerk. But as a general 
contention Santangelo's remark is uncritical, for in many of our refer- 
ences to goliards we have but examples of the heaping-up of words so 
dear to the mediaeval mind. Cf., for instance, the meaningless lists of 
names included under "familia Herlekini" (Driesen, Der Ursprung des 
Herlekin [1904], pp. 33 ff.) 

Der Marner (floruit ca. 1230) was a clerk who wrote Latin songs, five 
of which have descended to us (cf. Strauch, Quellen und Forschungen, 
Vol. XIV [1876J, pp. 94, 129; Zeitschr. f. deut. Alt., Vols. XXII [1876], 
p. 254, XXIV [1878], p. 90; Meyer, Fragmenta burana. But Marner 
was at the same time a common playe'r and minstrel and has informed us 
somewhat scornfully what a varied stock of goods the spielmann had to 
have within his roll (cf. Strauch, XV, 14 and 16, pp. 124, 127). Some of 
his wares were the old heroic tales and myths, some the courtly minne- 
sang. In the former content mattered, not the shape of the recital (der 
wigt min wort ringer danne ein ort; "my words they hold not worth a 
doit "), in the latter it was the poetic setting that the audience cared for. 
And Marner was ready with every sort from the simplest German saw to 
the polished Latin ode on the Abbot of Maria-Saal or the Jam pridum 
aestivalia (Carm. bur., No. 95; Zingerle, Wiener Sitzungsber., Vol. 



LIV [1866], p. 319). Konrad Marner therefore furnishes an interesting 
phase of the goliard situation in the thirteenth century, but it it is not 
safe to generalize too much from this single instance. 

Golias(fjul(i. Thomas Wright in proposing the etymology Golias 
from gula, "gullet, throat, palate" (Latin Poems [1841], p. x) was but 
following the authority of writers from twelfth century to fourteenth. 
Gerald of Barri's well-known description of Golias in the Speculum 
ecclesiae* "Item, parasitus quidam Golias nomine nostris diebus gulosi- 
tate pariter et leccacitate f amosissimus " contains a play upon words still 
popular in Piers Plowman: "a goliardeis, a gloton of wordes." But this 
derivation springs like many other similar ones from the inexplicable 
English delight in punning, or at least from the distressing habit of 
paronomasia so common to mediaeval scholasticism. An etymology thus 
born should be viewed askance as the following passage proves. I quote 
fully for two reasons, first, because of the evident appositeness to our 
theme; second, because I do not think the passage is well-known. I 
found it in Anecdota Oxoniensia (Classical Series), Vol. I, Part V, p. 62: 
Glossae in Sidonium (twelfth century): 

Leccatprum multa genera. Quidam enim dicuntur mimi, quidam bala- 
trones, quidam nebulones, quidam nepotes. quidam scurrae, quidam lenones, 
quidam histriones, quidam parasiti, quidam farmacopolae, a farmaca quod est 
unguentum et pole quod est vendere. De mimis dicit Horatius in Sermoni- 
bus Ambubaiarum collegia farmacopolae Mendici mimi balatrones hoc penus 
omne Maestum ac sollicitum est mei pro raorte Tigelli. Et notandum quod 
balatrones dieuntur a baratro quod est infernus. Dicitur autem baratrum 
quasi voratrum quia pmnia devorat. Inde quasi voratores, quia 
propria devorant et aliena consumunt. Dicuntur nebulones a nebula quia ad 
modutn nebulae transit gloria eorum. Vel quia aliena vitia per suas adula- 
tiones obcaecant. Dicuntur nepotes a nepa serpentequae suos fetus devorat. 
Scurra proprie appellatur vagus qui de domo ad domum discurrit ut ventrem 
satiet. De quibus bene dicitur, Quorum deus venter est. Unde Magistcr 
Serlo Scurrae jejuni te contra guttura muni. Lenones dicuntur conciliatores 
stupri. Unde quidam egregius versificator Leno ferre pedem talem non debet 
in aedem. Hac habitare domo debet honestus homo. Histrio dicitur ab 
historon quod est adulari. Unde quidam in cantilena eua Meretur histrio 
virtutis praemium, Dum palpat vitium dulci mendacio. Parasiti dicuntur 
quasi parantes situs hominum vel quasi juxta parapsidem siti. 

Archipoeta and Walther von der Vogelweide. More than 
thirty years ago Martin remarked certain correspondences between 
Walther's verse and goliardic poetry (Zeitschr. /. deut. Alt., Vol. XX, 
p. 66): "Doch es liesse sich auch sonst wol so manches in Walthers 
gedanken und ausdriicken mit der lateinischen vagantenpoesie verglei- 
chen : nicht nur als minnedichter deren scholastik ja auch bei den andern 
mhd. lyrikern nachwurkt, sondern auch als mahner zum kreuzzug und 
gegner der romischen curie waren ihm die fahrenden kleriker vorausge- 
gangen." The same statement recurs in Burdach's Walther von der 
Vogelweide (1900), pp. 37, 42, 184 f., although it has never been subjected 
to a thoroughgoing analysis: "Nach dem Vorbildder lateinisch dichten- 



den Vaganten gestaltet Walther die deutsche volksmassige gnomische 
Dichtung der Spielleute in seiner Weise um. Er wird ein Nachfolger 
der Spervogelschen Schule und zugleich des Archipoeta. Das muss auch 
auf seine Liebespoesie entscheidend einwirken, sie von Grund aus umge- 
stalten." "Er ist der erste ritterliche Sanger, der halb und halb das 
Leben und die Kunst der Fahrenden, der Vaganten sich aneignet. Er 
muss wie seine Vorlaufer, der Spervogelsche Kreis und die Goliarden, 
nach der Gunst der Herren streben." "Die lateinische Vagantendich- 
tung lebt in diesen Vorstellungen. Der Archipoeta verherrlichte in iiber- 
schwanglicher Weise das staufische Imperium .... Ihm erscheint 
Friedrich Barbarossa als neuer Karl der Grosse .... Walther, auf den 
die Vagantenlieder vielfach eingewirkt haben, mag wohl auch von diesen 
Stimmen enthusiastischer Kaiserverherrlichung geriihrt worden sein." 

Now if these things are true, and there is at present no good reason 
to doubt them, it should be the duty of someone carefully to gather and 
sift the philological evidence, that it can be adduced as proof. Until this 
is done we cannot know how direct the influence which mediaeval Latin 
poetry exercised on Walther's political and love lyrics. For of course 
another possibility always exists, viz., that both Latin and German poems 
were modeled after a Provencal (French) original. 

Recently (Zeitschr. f. deut. Alt., Vol. XLVII [1904], p. 319) Martin has 
cited various themes and phrases of Walther's which are analogous to 
passages in Andreas Capellanus' De Amore (ed. Trojel, 1892) a book 
written in the last decade or two of the twelfth century (cf. Grimm, 
Kleinere Schriften, Vol. Ill, p. 44). But how far Martin is justified in 
terming Andreas' work " a Latin source of German minnesang " that 
still remains to be seen. 

Early minstrelsy. I hesitated to include in my list of early Latin 
minstrelsy (Part I, pp. 44 ff.) the verses which Heyne recovers (from 
Opera Gregorii Turonensis, edd. Arndt et Krusch, Vol. II, p. 651) regard- 
ing the spielmann of King Miro. Cf. Heyne, Altdeutsch-lateinische 
Spielmannsgedichte des X. Jahrhunderts (1900), p. xxiv. They are 
supposedly of the year 589: 

Heu, misero succurite 
Oppresso mi subvenite, 
Adpenso relevamini 
Et pro me sancti Martini 
Virtutem deprecamini, 
Qui tali plaga adfligor, 
Tali exitu crucior, 
Incisione disjungor. 

The minstrel (Reich, Der Mimus, Vol. I, p. 826, calls him hofnarr) dis- 
obedient to the command of his lord Miro tries to pick a bunch of ripe 
grapes in the arbor before the portal of St. Martin's Church. His hand 
is caught as in a vise and his arm begins to wither. At first the spiel- 



mann laughs and pretends it is all one of his trade tricks, but the pain 
soon overcomes him and he cries out in anguish: "succurite, viri, misero, 
subvenite oppresso, relevamini, adpenso et sancti antistitis Martini virtu- 
tern pro me deprecamini, qui tali exitu crucior, tali plaga adfligor, tali 
incisione disjungor." 

Sequence and Leich. In connection with the claim that profane 
song was born of the sequence (Part I, p. 6) it is interesting to recall that 
Lachmann wrote im 1829: " When I can produce Latin poems which two 
hundred years before the leiche have just the Zetc/i-form, dactyls and all 
but without rhyme; when these poems although in part secular are 
descended from church-music and from a very similar form that is still 
about a century older; then I dare say no one will hesitate to derive the 
leiche, and with them the dactylic rhythms, from ecclesiastical poetry" 
(Kleinere Schriften, Vol. I, p. 334). Later Lachmann prints the Cam- 
bridge poem on the snow-child and the modus Ottinc, remarking (p. 339): 
"These poems are themselves apparently only a development of the 
sacred type whose inventor was Notker Balbulus." 

Bibliographical notes. The "literature" devoted to many of the 
topics discussed in the foregoing study is extensive. It seemed unneces- 
sary, at times impossible, to present all of it or even much of it in foot- 
notes without overburdening my pages beyond endurance. My annota- 
tion therefore contents itself with being suggestive and nowhere attempts 
to be completing. In a few instances I have cited the title of a book 
which I have not personally studied, but on the other hand have refrained 
from mentioning much that did not seem essential. I have assumed that 
there is small need of listing recondite sources of information when con- 
venient bibliographies are easy of access, when such collections as 
Chevalier's Repertoire des sources historiques du mogen age (Vol. I 2 
[1905]; Vol. II [1886]), and Haure"au's 'Notices et extraits de quelques 
manuscrits latins (6 vols., 1890-93) are at the command of every student 
of mediaeval philology. This hesitation has left certain longer notes in 
doubtful shape. Perhaps I would better have added to my references 
on the snow-child (p. 7, n. 1) Liebrecht, Zur Volkskunde (1879), 
pp. 101 f.; and (as Hamilton suggests) Dunlop-Liebrecht, Geschichte 
der Prosadichtungen, pp. 41, 499, 522, 542; K. KShler, Kleinere Schrif- 
ten, Vol. Ill (1900), p. 564. I omitted these titles as they offered no new 
verse- version of the theme treated. Or again in dealing with the Golias 
tradition I might have left out certain references, if I did not care to 
enlarge upon the matter and include others such as Haure'au, Vol. I, 
p. 387; III, 197; IV, 233, 282-86, 330; VI, 215; Not. et Extr., Vol. XXXII, 
part 1; Martin, Observations sur le roman de Renart, pp. 15, 51. The 
name of Santangelo in this note, for instance (p. 24), reminds me that 
I did not list the interesting reflections of other Italian writers such as 



Gabrielli, Corradino, Straccali, Ronca, Novati, etc. It seemed, however, 
that this would be merely to speak by the card and therefore ill-advised. 

Page 13, 26. For Grosseteste substitute William of Wadington; 
cf. Robert of Brunne's Handling Synne, ed. Furnivall (1903), vv. 9045 ff. 
On the danseurs maudits cf. Paris, Journal des savants (1899), pp. 
733 ff. 

Page 15, note 1. Hertz's notes are abundantly added to by 
Schonbach in his Studien zur geschichte der altdeutschen Predigt, Part 
II (1900), pp. 56-89 (=Sitzungsber. d. Wiener Akad., Vol. CXLII, 7th 

Page 19, 32. Rand thinks the delusor possibly suggested by 
Terence's own retorts to his critic Lanuvinus. " Mediaeval scholia on 
Terence may help out on this point there are suggestive remarks in 
those published by Schlee, but nothing definite enough to cite." The form 
of the poem reminds of the Ecloga TheodulL On the study of Terence in 
the Middle Ages cf . Magnin, Bibl, de I'Ecole des chartes, Vol. I, p. 524; 
Riese, Zeitschr. f. d. dsterr. Gymnasien (1867), p. 442; Kopke, Hrotsvit 
v. Gandersheim (1869), pp. 152, 159, 183; Oreizenach, Gesch. d. neueren 
Dramas, Vol. I (1893), p. 17; Cloetta, Beitr. z. Littgesch. d. Mittelalters, 
Vol. I (1890), pp. 2, 4; Gabotto, Appunti sulla fortuna di alcuni autori 
romani nel medio evo (1891), cap. 6 "Terenzio;" Abel, Die Terenzbiogra- 
phien des Altertums u. des Mittelalters (1887); Dziatzko, Neue Jahrb. f. 
Phil. (1894), p. 465; Manitius, Philologus (1894), p. 546; Sabbadini, Studi 
ital. di filol. class. (1897), p. 314; Francke, Terenz u. d. latein. Schul- 
komodie (1877); Herrmann, Mitteil. d. Ges. f. deut. Erzieh.- u. Schul- 
geschichte (1893), p. 1; Galzigna, Fino a chepnnto i commediografi del 
rinascimento abbiano imitato Plauto e Terenzio, Pt. 1 (1899); Santoro, 
La Taide in Terenzio e in Dante (1902). Several of these titles I owe to 
my colleague, Mr. Beeson. 

Page 27, note 3. The monk of Froidmont is now generally believed 
to be Helinant; cf. Les vers de la mort, edd. Wulff et Walberg (Societe 
des anciens textes francais, 1905), p. vi. The sermon from which the 
quotation is made was probably preached in 1229 (cf. ibid., p. xxvi). 

Page 35, 5. For example, the Quondam fuit factus festus and the 
Sermo noster audiatis (cf. Wilh. Meyer, Gottinger Nachrichten, 1908, 
pp. 406 ff.). The first of these has exactly the same stanza-form as the 
"Ave," the identical continuous rhyme of the seven -syllabled lines in ia, 
the second one is evidently a close formal copy of the the first. Both the 
poems depict the lowest scenes of monastic life in the vulgarest diction. 
Interesting, but unanswerable, is Meyer's question, if the Quondam fuit 
did not suggest to the authors of the Epistolae obscurorum virorum the 
stylistic device of mocking the old-fashioned university people by having 
them write ungainly Latin. 


Page 38, 22. Cf. Tobler, Zeitschr. f. roman. Phil, Vol. IX, pp. 
288 ff.; Comparetti, Virgilio nel medio evo (1896)*, Vol. II, pp. 112 ff. 
(Engl. transl. [1895], pp. 325 ff.); Novati, Carmina medii aevi (1883), 
pp. 15 ff., Attraverso il medio evo (1905), pp. 51 ff., 95 ff.; Valmaggi, Lo 
spirito antifemminile nel medio evo (1890); Pascal, " Antifemminismo 
medievale," Poesia latino, medievale (1907), pp. 151-84. All necessary 
references and bibliography are given in one or another of these studies. 

Page 41, note 1. For "we know" in 1. 2 substitute "Haure'au 
believes;" and after "Roger" in 1. 8 read "who does not share Haur6au's 

Page 42, 23. For the best recent discussion of De cuculo cf . Pascal, 
op. cit., pp. 123 ff. 

Page 53, note 1. I should perhaps have added to the note regard- 
ing May-f6te origins reference to the discussion and bibliography con- 
tained in Jeanroy's article on " Les chansons " (in Petit de Julleville, 
Histoire de la langue et de la litterature franyaise, Vol. I [1896], 
pp. 362 ff., 403 f.). 

Page 61, notes 1 and 2. I might have omitted these notes if I had 
had access to Ronca's study " La prima poesia d' amore in Italia dopo il 
mille," Fanfulla della domenica, Vol. XIII, No. 6. 

Page 82, note 2. Wilh. Meyer would doubt the statement that 
minstrels wrote well in Romance long before the middle of the ninth 
century. He says (Gdttinger Nachrichten, 1908, p. 40): "The most 
distinguished poets were the writers of Latin quantitative hexameters, 
inferior to them were the authors of Latin rhythms. But those who 
attempted to make verses in the different national languages or in one of 
the many dialects were least esteemed. In France and in the Romance 
countries Latin was understood by even the least cultured. Therefore a 
need or a desire for texts in the vulgar tongue did not arise in France till 
much later [than in the eighth century]. The oldest poems in French 
that we possess originated in a period when Latin rhythmic poets already 
observed carefully the scheduled number of syllables, when sequences 
were already composed in which the same number of syllables was main- 
tained: Phtongis paribus metricata phalanx reboet ac librata (von der 
Gegenstrophe, Dreves, Analecta hymnica, Vol. X, p. 150). Naturally 
then even the oldest French rhythmic poets enumerate their syllables 

Page 85, note 1. Add the title "Das erste Gedicht der Carmina 
Burana" (Gdttinger Nachrichten, 1908, pp. 189 ff.), in which Wilh. 
Meyer shows no. 66 to be the merest fragment of the poem Manus ferens 
munera (cf. Wright, Walter Mapes, p. 226). 

Page 87, note 6. Add Bartsch, Grundriss zur Geschichte der pro- 
venzalischen Literatur (1872), p. 26; Ronca, Cultura medievale, p. 152. 



Page 1O5, note 2. For further reference to popular tales and songs 
in mediaeval French sermons cf. Bourgain, La chaire francaise au xii. 
siecJe (1879), pp. 227 ff., La Marche, La chaire francaise au moyen age 
(1886) 2 , pp. 284 ff. 

Errata. It seems unnecessary to list all the minor slips in spelling 
and type contained in the preceding parts of this study : they are evident 
to any careful reader. Thus, "Robinson" [p. 26, .n. 1] should be 
"Robertson;" "Stephan" [p. 23] is "Stephen;" "a" [p. 40, 1. 13] should 
be "as," etc. But I do not wish to be thought deliberately guilty of the 
plural form " conflict! " [p. 28] and certain other instances of questionable 
Latin which were allowed to escape revision because of a confusion in 
the proof-sheets. 





Historians of literature generally assign the parentage of the 
mediaeval minstrel spielmann, troubadour, and trouvere to the 
Roman mimus. I do not. I propose to examine the literary records 
of the so-called Dark Ages in Europe, to show that the living poetry 
of this time did not derive from the Roman mimus either directly 
or indirectly, that it was rather the instinctive and native art of its 
own day. Before we move a foot, however, it is necessary to define 
the word mimus. As used by critics it means three things : 

1. A dramatic performance popular in Rome until the fall of the 

2. Any sort of realistic imitation of life skit, dance, poem, song, 
juggling, pantomime, acrobatic feat, trained animals in short, 
Roman vaudeville. 

3. A Roman vaudeville artist or entertainer. 

It is absolutely useless to speak of mimus as the source of mediae- 
val minstrelsy unless we know at each step just what is meant by 
mimus. First then let us find out what we may about it. 

1. Mimus : Dramatic Performance 

There are three types of mimus which are sometimes considered 
dramatic: (a) Mimic Drama, the sole remnant of which is perhaps 
No. 413 in the Oxyrhynchus papyrus; ' (6) Sung Mimus, the sole 
remnant of which is perhaps the "erotic fragment" of Grenfell, 
which Wilamowitz reconstructed and called the "Maid's Lament;" 2 
(c) Recited Mimus, like those of Sophron, Herodas, 3 and Theocritus 
(especially Nos. ii, xiv, xv) . 

lEdd. Grenfell-Hunt, Part iil (1903); cf. Winter, De mimis oxyrhynchis (1906), 

^ Gdttinger Nachrichten (1896), pp. 209 ft.; cf. also Leo, "Die Plautinischen cantica 
und die hellenistische Lyrik," Gdttinger Abhandlungen (1897); "Die Komposition der 
Chorlieder Senecas," Rheinisches Museum (1897), pp. 509 flf., and "Der Monolog im 
Drama," Gdttinger Abhandlungen (1908), p. 117. 

3 The mimes of Herodas [or Herondas] are now available in Sharpley's excellent 
verse- translation A Realist of the Aegean (1906). 
329] 1 [MODBEN PHILOLOGY, January, 1910 


Of these three types of mimus, however, no one is necessarily 
or even presumably a dramatic performance. 1 There is no reason 
why the confused enthusiasm of Reich 2 or the fluent narrative of 
Chambers 3 or any evidence which we as yet possess should lead us 

1 Wilamowitz says (Hermes, Vol. XXXIV [1899], pp. 207 f.) : "What are the mimes? 
Surely no dramatic type. The narrator makes his appearance either in the market- 
place or in a private dwelling, later in the place which is called 'theater' [schauplatz], 
because everything an audience wants to see can be better viewed there. The narrator 
can be just as well compared with the yeAwroiroiot of the West as he can with the aristo- 
cratic rhapsodists of the East, who likewise recited pieces of Archilochos and Hipponax. 
He imitates with drastic comic effect various voices, as is demanded by the dramatic 
action of his narrative, but in antiquity it was never forgotten that the heroic epic itself 
belonged to the yevos /netfcrdv, and the iambus offered the like alternation of voices. Theoc- 
ritus' ' Adonlazusai ' and ' Simaitha ' were surely recited first by him. That is no book- 
poetry; of course he was not writing a book. And in the same way Herodas imitated 
bun in the iambus. Whether a single speaker appears, as in his Keeper of the Brothel, 
or quite a number, as in his 'Asklepiazusai,' that is all one. God forgive those who 
believe this sort of thing was really played! " 

Sudhaus is equally decided (Hermes, Vol. XLI, pp. 269 f.): "A pronounced conser- 
vative tendency and a clarity as to the requisites and aims of their art enabled the 
mimes to remain what they were, and prevented their merging with the higher drama. 
As numerous utterances prove, the mime was always conscious that his main task was 
character portrayal. Doubtless for the entertainment of audiences he did play comedy, 
produce spectacular pieces, and give such farces as the Charition of Oxyrhynchos, which 
might be termed a scurrilous Iphigenia but no longer a real mime. He never forgot, 
however, that f)0oiroUa. and the picture of life was his true field, and our piece (Oxyrhyn- 
chus 413) shows us how, despite a comprehensive action, the whole object of a mime 
could be made the sustaining of a single character-rSle. If one lays aside pure jugglery 
and the low types of mimesis, the mime is nothing but ijSojroua. It is no drama, for 
how could a form be drama which can do quite without Spia^tva. ? Action which is 
everything for a drama is only incidental to the mime, the mime can even exclude action 

2 Reich invented the "great mimic drama" in his book Der Mimus, Vol. I (1903), 
although no example of it had descended to us. Later when Grenfell published Oxyrhyn- 
chus 413 Reich seized upon it as proof that his "drama" had existed and restated his 
position in the Deutsche Litteraturzeitung, Vol. XXIV (1903), coll. 2679 ff., as follows: 
"From the tune of Alexander the Great there arose in the larger Hellenic cities of the 
Orient the great mimic drama, growing out of the sung and the recited mimes. This 
so-called mimic hypothesis mingled prose and lyric parts, arias, and cantica. It soon 
won the stage of Rome and became Latinized. Philistion is the classic of the Greek 
hypothesis, Publilius Syrus and Decimus Laberius are the great names in the Latin 
derivative. Throughout the Graeco-Roman empire, in Europe, Asia, and Africa people 
received the mimic drama with acclaim, rulers and emperors cherished it, and later 
even the church fathers could not drive it from popular favor." 

Unfortunately, the facts in the case do not bear out Reich's contention. In a 
recent and detailed study of the "Mimus von Oxyrhynchos" Sudhaus remarks (Hermes, 
Vol. XLI [1906], pp. 274, 277): " Reich's invention of the great mimic hypothesis, which 
flourished as early as the third century B.C. but had then to wait three centuries to 
find its classic in Philistion, deserves no confutation. It is urgently important to point 
out that Reich's constructions for the most part do not withstand examination, and 
that his predecessors, whom he does not treat in very friendly fashion, judged in many 
things more rightly than he. I say this particularly with reference to several verdicts 
in Horovitz, Spuren griechischer Mimen im Orient (1905)." 

3 The opening chapter of Chambers' Mediaeval Stage is entitled ' ' The Fall of the 
Theaters," and he employs therein without definition the words farce, mime, spectacle, 
performance, stage, theater, plot, and actor. But an examination of his sources shows 



to believe it. Theorize about the matter we can, but proofs are 

At first, perhaps, the dramatic mimes were low-comedy pieces and 
farces which shared their popularity with comedies of a higher 
sort, like those of Plautus and Terence; at first, perhaps, the sung 
and recited mimes were witty dialogues, satirical reflections, topical 
hits, dramatic portrayal of the life of the day, which alternated at 
entertainments of the great houses with author's readings, like that 
of the Querolus for example. 1 Both publicly and privately, that is, 
a definite and skilful dramatic art lent itself to the realistic repro- 
duction of life. But even if this is true of the older character of 
the mime, when the decay of culture came a change ensued. The 
mime degenerated until it pandered to the worst instincts of 

2. Mimus : Roman Vaudeville 

Paegnion was the word for everything beneath the " legitimate " or 
dramatic type of mimus. 2 If anything mimic was fitted to endure 
across the fifth century into the European world of the Dark and 
Middle Ages, surely it was paegnion. 

For one might be blind and yet enjoy himself. There was music 
both vocal and instrumental, there was the squealing and grunting 
as of pigs, there was the imitation of every animal's bleat, squawk, 
or bellow. One could be deaf and not miss overmuch, for there 
were sketches from all types of low-life and side-street, knockdown 
farces, take-offs, and acrobatic turns. One need not even understand 
the jargon of the players for an evening's fun, but could go like the 

quickly that there is no evidence that any "mimic drama" was ever "acted" in any 
"play-house" in Rome. Nor will further study uncover such evidence. Cf. Jahn, 
Prolegomena ad Persii satiras (1843); Grysar, "Der romische Mimus," Wiener Sitzungs- 
berichte, Vol. XII (1854); Ffthr, De mimis Graecorum (1860); Horschelmann, "Der 
griechische Mimus," Baltische Monatsschrift (1892); Crusius, Untersuchungen zu den 
Mimiamben des Herondas (1892); Hauler, "Der Mimus von Epicharm bis Sophron," 
Xenia austriaca, Vol. I (1893); Nairn, The Mimes of Herodas (1904); Glock, Zeitschrift 
ur vergleichende Literaturgeschichte, Vol. XVI (1905). 

i The Querolus (or Aulularia) is announced by its author to be not for public pre- 
sentation but for recitation in the circle of friends, for sociable entertainment, and for 
the amusement of a dinner party. Cf. Cloetta, Beitrage zur Literaturgeschichte des Mit- 
telalters. Vol. I (1890), p. 2. 

2Cf. Reich, Der Mimus, Vol.1, pp. 417 ff. Sudhaus (loc. cit., p. 265) and Korte 
(Neue Jahrbilcher fur das klassische Altertum [1903], p. 538) make paegnion the generic 
term for all representations of real mimes, and consider it the general rather than the 
subordinate title. 



modern tourist to tingeltangel or variete, sure of his reward. Who 
would not laugh if his host Trimalchio blew out his cheeks like a 
bugler, if a slave made mimic music on an earthen lamp and ate 
fire? Whose face would not burn at the nakedness of person and 
pantomime and words, which, to quote Plutarch, "intoxicated and 
stupefied the spirit more than strong wines? " ] 

3. Mimus: Roman Entertainer 

The preceding paragraph on paegnion has told us what to expect 
of these entertainers. Whatever they may have been in earlier 
times, in the fifth and sixth centuries the profession of mimus was not 
free from admixture of every kind. Histrio, prestigiator, scaenicus, 
tragoedus, comoedus, thymelicus, scurra, saltator, and mimus are so 
variously glossed by early commentators that we are at a total loss 
to separate the "artes lubricae" which they professed. Sidonius, 
who must be expected to know, says that the histriones boasted 
of doing the same thing as Philistio, but falsely. Cassiodorus specif- 
ically refers to a certain Sabinus as " histrio, equorum moderator et 
auriga," to a Thomas as "auriga, maleficus et magus." The mimes 
were dramatic performers of one sort and another, reciters of obscenest 
jokes, charioteers, high-jumpers, dancers, magicians, sleight-of-hand 
workers, and ill-doers generally. We are transported from the 
stage, from the realm of private theatricals, to the tent of the circus 
and to the lascivious pleasures of dinner tables. Let us be not misled 
to think the thing otherwise. The men appear in motley or harlequin 
dress, the women more or less naked. One indulges in rodomontade 
and the absurdest boasting, another gives imitations of human 
customs and characters, a third portrays lewd matters : to the accom- 
paniment of drums and cymbals a man or woman enters and plays 
the r61e of prostitute, pander, adulterer, or drunkard. A fourth is 
conjurer. Any sort of coarse comedy, grimacing, imitation of the 
cries of animals is welcome. 2 

Such, then, is the Roman mimus, performance and performer, 
which the Germans knew from the fourth century on at least, and 

1 Cf. Table-talks, VII, vii, 4. The unspeakable lasciviousness of Theodora's pan- 
tomime which Procopius cites was probably nothing rare. 

2 Cf. Scherer, Geachichte der deutachen Dichtung im xi. und xii. Jahrhtindert, p. 12. 



knew undoubtedly in three different ways: (1) from personal acquaint- 
ance in Italy whither a tribal migration had led them; (2) from 
hearsay and from the graphic description of returning wanderers; 
(3) from personal acquaintance in Germany, whither the mimus from 
the earliest historical times, sallying forth from Roman frontier 
garrisons, penetrating ever farther, followed the steps of the southern 
merchant. These things I believe, and I also believe that some 
Roman mimes outlasted the sixth century a while and continued 
their profession in Romance territory as late even as the age of 
Charles the Great, though by no means so long in strictly Germanic 
territory. Some European minstrels doubtless owed certain of 
their tricks and turns at first directly or indirectly to mimes. But 
that the two minstrel and mime were for long centuries largely 
identical, I do not believe, and nothing in the records makes such 
a creed imperative, or even appealing. 

Germanic scop 

We are often so occupied in trying to discover what the Germans 
learned from Italy, that we forget to wonder just what manner of 
things they brought to Italy with them. The early records con- 
cerning Germanic singers and Germanic poetry are too incomplete to 
give us much definite information. From epic sources like the 
Anglo-Saxon Widsith, Beowulf, and Deor's Complaint we hear, as we 
should expect, only of a scop or epic singer. And historical works 
such as the chronicles of Cassiodorus, Priscus, Paulus Diaconus, and 
Jordanes, tell us naturally enough of the scopas who sang songs 
celebrating the deeds of their national heroes, and tell us of no other 
sort of German poet or poetry. But silence upon a point of this 
kind means necessarily nothing. 

However this be, early epic poetry may be divided into two 
classes in any of three ways: (1) its origin, (2) its form, (3) its content. 
That is, (1) whether it was communal [choric] or artistic [individual] 
in source and utterance; (2) whether it was a ballad [divided into 
stanzas of an irregular number of verses] or a rhapsodic poem 
[a continuous series of long- verses without stanzaic division]; 
(3) whether it was hymnic song in praise of the gods and legendary 
heroes, or a song celebrating the deeds of great and important his- 



torical personages. 1 But, whichever of these three manners of division 
we adopt, the result is largely the same : two kinds of poetry are the 
result. The first kind is an old traditional type of epic expression, 
presumably a common Germanic heritage from the Aryan past; the 
second kind is, it may be, a gradual development within historic 
times, coming perhaps into full swing in the fifth and sixth centuries, 
and including even songs of compliment to members of a ruling 
dynasty. 2 The Germanic scop undoubtedly had in his repertory both 
kinds: "mythische heroendichtung " and "historische heldendich- 
tung." Of the one he was certainly the coryphaeus, of the other, so 
far as we know, he was the creator. 

Was there a professional Germanic jester? 

We know about the scop: a distinguished epic singer, often the 
vassal of a king, honored, praised, and rewarded with the meed of 
hero. 3 Was this the only class of professional entertainer the Ger- 
manic peoples knew before their association with the Romans in the 
fourth and' fifth centuries ? Did the Germans of their own initiative 
not go in for realistic comedy and low farce of any kind? 

From the records that we now have we cannot argue either for 
or against the existence of German entertainers of the lighter sort 
(mountebanks and minstrels) among the Germanic races previous 
to and during the tribal migrations. Even such mention of satirical 

i 1 am not sure that I think much of any of these three methods of classification. In 
a forthcoming article on Epic and Romance I shall try to deal with old Germanic epic 
poetry, not as it should be, but as it is. 

2 Such as those from which Cassiodorus got his list of the ancestors of Amalasuintha, 
daughter of Theodoric. Cf. Variar. lib. xi, cap. 1; Jordanes, De origine actibusque 
Gelarum, cap. 14, 17, 48; Zeitschr. f. deut. Alt., Vol. XII, p. 253; Kelle, Gesch. d. deut. 
Lit., Vol. I (1892), pp. 10 f. 

We have no proof that a heroic poetry celebrating the deeds of historical personages 
did not exist among the earliest Germans, except for the silence of Tacitus regarding the 
matter, and this is not proof. If this type of poetry was comparatively late, it is interest- 
ing to remember that it was either sprung from, or given its greatest impulse by, the 
poetically gifted Goths. It was two Goths who sang before Attila of his victories, the 
citharoedus Theodoric sent Clodewech was perhaps a Gothic scop (and not an Italian 
mi inns), the Lombard Alboin (^Elfwine) is mentioned in Widaith (the Goths exerted 
strong influence upon the epic song of their neighbors the Lombards) ; and most important 
of all, most of the popular epic legendary material which has descended to us is of Gothic 
origin Ermanrich, the Harlungs, Theodoric, Heime, Witig, Hildebrand and Hadubrand, 
perhaps Walter of Aquitania; except for the Frankish myth of Siegfried, the Nibelungen 
story is a poetic work of the Burgundians, a race most closely associated with the Goths. 

scf. Kohler, "Ueber den Stand berufsmassiger Sanger im nationalen Epos ger- 
manischer Volker," Germania, Vol. XV, pp. 27 fl.; Vogt, Leben und Dichtung der deutschen 
Spielleute (1876), pp. 4f.; Anderson, The Anglo-Saxon Scop (1903). 



songs as Ausonius makes in the Mosella is too vague to be of service, 1 
and other references are either too confused or too late in date. 2 But 
while it is impossible to present evidence in proof that the early 
Germans had light entertainment and lyric song as well as heroic 
ballads, while speculation on this point often leads to purely dog- 
matic statement, 3 it is always worth remembering that some of the 
comedy and realism, some of the lyrical forms of expression that 
we meet in Europe from the eighth century on, may be sprung from 
indigenous roots. 4 That race which first of the modern cultural 
nations of Europe gives us merry stories, humorous songs, satires, 
and lyrics must have borrowed well, if they fetched this whole art 
from transalpine territory! 

1 For we do not know that the dwellers in the Moselle region during the fourth century 
were Germans. Cf. Ausonii opuscula (Monumenta Germaniae historica, Auctores, Vol. 
V, ii), p. 87, and Kogel, Pauls Grundriss, Vol. II, p. 49. 

2 Laughter-smiths there were in England at the time when the Exodus was written 
(43 wceron hleahtorsmidum handa belocene; a reference apparently to the magicians of 
Egypt; cf. Blackburn, Exodus and Daniel [1907], p. 37), but even if hleahtorsmiS denotes a 
certain class of entertainer, this profession is not necessarily of early date or of native 
origin. Little definite is known regarding the functions of the northern bulr [who Mlillen- 
hoff asserts was the continuator of the entire Northern poetic tradition; Deutsche Alter- 
tumskunde. Vol. V, p. 300], but certain passages (e. g., Fafnismal 34; Havamal stanzas 
110-37) indicate that Mr. C. N. Gould is justified in believing commentators have regarded 
him too seriously. The HaraldskvaeOi (or Hrafnsmal, ca. 900) speaks of jesters and 
jugglers: leikari, truSr. " Anda8r pets a dog without ears, plays foolish tricks and causes 
the king to laugh. There are also others who, it is said, bear a burning stick of wood 
through the fire, they have stuck blazing hats beneath their belts [!], these men who 
deserve a kick." TruSr translates scurra in the Vulgate describing King David playing 
on the harp like a rough trufir. The juggler was known to Ireland as early as the ninth 
century or earlier. Professor A. C. L. Brown calls my attention to clessamnach in the 
"Sick Bed of Cuchulinn," an ancient story in the Dun Cow MS (Windisch, Irische Texte, 
Vol. I, p. 206: "sing and act the part of jugglers") and another saga "The Destruc- 
tion of Da Derga's Palace" tells of the juggler Tulchuine and of the three jesters at the 
fire (Hyde, Literary History of Ireland, pp. 391 f.; Whitley Stokes, Revue celtique. Vol. 
XXII [1901], pp. 286, 311). 

s Simply because such speculation is so apt to confuse poetic impulse and poetic 
achievement, because it assumes that since Germans may have had certain literary 
forms at a given time they actually did have them, Kelle thus ascribes to the Germans of 
the first century sword-dance and drama (schauspiel) , incantations, gnomic verses, and 
very possibly satires, love-songs, dance-ditties. Scherer accords even the old Aryans 
love-songs "in which a feeling for nature and the inner life were harmonized or con- 
trasted;" cf. Scherer, Kleinere Schriften, Vol. I, p. 697 and Gesch. d. dent. Lit.w, p. 7; 
Heinzel, Quellen und Forschungen, Vol. X, p. 49. Kogel assigns them satirical songs 
(Grundriss, p. 49) : "Satirical poetry must have been current at an early period among a 
people with whom gnomic verse was a favorite form. Common to both types of poetry 
is epigrammatic acumination, they are different in that satirical verse is made for singing." 

* I ponder at this juncture the words of Tacitus (Annales, Bk. I, chap. 65): "Nox 
per diversa inquies, quum barbari festis epulis, laeto cantu aut truci sonore subjecta 
vallium ac resultantis saltus complerent" and (Historiae, Bk. V, chap. 15): "Nox apud 
barbaros cantu aut clamore, nostris per iram et minas acta." 



Now critics have felt that the mediaeval jongleur and spielmann 
are children of the Roman mimus for three reasons : l 

1. They have thought mimus as a dramatic performance existed 
as late as the fifth century. 

2. When they met the term mimus (and its synonyms joculator, 
scurra, thymelicus, histrio) in records from the fifth to the tenth 
century, they believed this term to mean the same that it did in 
pre-Christian Rome. 

3. No other ancestry for early mediaeval realistic art was visible 
to them, because of their preconceived idea that the Dark Ages could 
not bear such fruit unaided. 

1. Fifth-century drama 

If there had been a mimic drama in Rome when the empire fell 
there would indeed be ground for the assumption that it lived on 
into the Middle Ages, but all the records cited by Reich 2 furnish no 
weightier arguments for the existence of such a drama than Grysar 
was able to produce fifty years before/ In fact these very records 
show clearly enough that such a drama did not exist, for they are 
in large part the observations of men who were in a position to 
know of what they spoke, and nowhere, as Glock shows convincingly 
step by step, do they speak of mimus as a dramatic performance. 4 
We may therefore once and for all dismiss the specious theory of 
Reich and Sathas 5 that either in Europe or in Asia a definite mimic 
drama lived on into the Middle Ages. 6 

1 A fourth " reason " given by Piper in his Spielmannsdichtung (1887), p. 3, 1 scarcely 
have the heart to cite; it sounds so absurd. He says: " That the unity of Roman scurra 
and German minstrel is an actual one is proven by the identity of their characteristic 
traits." Such reasoning, however, is not unique with Piper, as an examination of Wein- 
hold, Die deutschen Frauen im Mittelalter (1851), pp. 351 ff. ; Kopke, Ottonische Studien 
(1869), Vol. II, p. 176, will show. If such argument count for aught, many a performer 
on the modern Uberbrettl is likewise " identical with the Roman scurra." 

2 In his book Der Mimus (1903). 

3 Wiener Sitzungsberichte, Vol. XII (1854), pp. 331 ff. 

* Zeitschr. /. vergl. Literaturgesch., Vol. XVI (1905), pp. 27 ff. 

5 'loropiicbi' SoKifnov n-epl rov 6edrpov TWV fiva.vTi.viov (1878), a view recently upheld by 
Tunison, Dramatic Traditions of the Dark Ages (1905), although sufficiently disproved 
by Krumbacher, Geschichte der byzantinischen Literatur 527-1423 (1897) 2 , p. 644; see also 
Chambers, Mediaeval Stage, Vol. I, p. 17. 

6 Therefore Chambers is in error when he says (op. tit., p. 83) : "The Roman mimus 
was essentially a player of farces; that and little else. It is of course open to any one 
to suppose that the mimus went down in the seventh century playing farces, and that 
his like appeared in the fifteenth century playing farces, and that not a farce was played 



We may then disregard the words of Heinrich Morf and of any 
other historian who finds actors engaged in dramatic production in 
Europe during the Dark Ages, 1 for such words must for the present 
at least rest either on pure assumption or on the insecure and dis- 
ingenuous combinations of Emil Reich. 

2. The term mimus and its synonyms in records of the Dark Ages 

More than thirty years ago Paul Meyer assigned to the mimi the 
beginnings of both Provencal and French literature 2 and Leon 
Gautier agreed with him. 3 Gaston Paris, with what would appear 
a surer insight, believed the mediaeval minstrel represented a mer- 
ging of the mimi with the Germanic scopas. 4 Meyer says: 

The point of departure for both [Provencal and French literature] is 
the same, and it is indeed humble. Testimonies which have been more 
than once collected, and which follow one another from the end of the 
Roman empire far into the Middle Ages, teach us of the existence of a 
class of individuals designated by the ancient names of scurrae, thy- 
melici, later joculatores, public entertainers. They cross, without 
disappearing, the distress of the Merovingian and Carolingian eras. We 
meet them again in the eleventh century nourishing throughout Gaul. 

Now let us see what Meyer has done. Without specifying in any 
case just what the work of these mimi was (scurrae, thymelici, jocu- 
latores) he makes this work of theirs the point of departure for 

between. But is it not more probable on the] whole that he preserved at least the 
rudiments of the art of acting, and that when the appointed time came the despised and 
forgotten farce blossomed forth once more as a vital and effective form of literature?" 

1 Morf says in his "Die romanischen Literaturen" pp. 144, 441 (KuUur der Gegenwart, 
I, xi, 1 [1909]): "From the days of the church fathers on there was no lack of clerical 
invective against the mimus. When because of the political and social downfall of the 
Roman empire the wealthy class and the great centers of culture had vanished, the 
Roman theater likewise fell, the drama disappeared, and the dramatic troupes crumbled 
and scattered. The mimus who till now had lived in companies of actors journeyed 
alone or with his mima as a wandering player through a world which had become bar- 
barian. He amused his audiences by the practice of every profane art music, singing, 
joking and juggling. The soil that had fostered his expensive maintenance in companies 
was gone, and thereafter dramatic operations on a large scale gave way to individual per- 
formances of a precarious and petty sort. The name mimus yielded to the title joculator 
("jongleur"). As joculator scenicus this person is the continuator of that comic theater 
which, although outside of written tradition, existed in Romania through all the centuries. ' * 

2 Romania, Vol. V (1876), p. 260. 

3 Lea epopees francaises, Vol. II (1892)2, pp. 4 ff. 

* La literature franQaise au moyen-&ge (1890) 2 , p. 36; cf. also Chambers, Mediaeva 
Stage (1903), Vol. I, pp. 23 ff. 



mediaeval Provencal and French literature. 1 Why does he do this? 
Because mimi in Rome furnished one sort of entertainment and 
mediaeval minstrels in central Europe furnished another sort of 
entertainment five hundred years later, and in the interval between 
the two the ancient names for entertainer, scurra, thymelicus, etc., 
are continued. Although I believe the looseness of this method is 
obvious I shall be at some pains to show how illogical I think Meyer's 
contention is. 

Of course the ancient names for entertainer continue all through 
the Dark Ages, and deep into mediaeval times; we hear again and 
again of mimi, joculatores, scurrae, etc. Why should we not? 
Mimus had meant and long continued to mean entertainer, juggler, 
minstrel, poet. If a man of high or low degree chanced to be regarded 
by the common people of the seventh, eighth, or ninth centuries as 
an acceptable poet, that man was called mimus. 

Of course the names continue. We hear of mime in sixteenth- 
century France 2 in the farce Maistre Mimin and much has been 
made of the fact. Why not make much of the fact that we have 
mimes and minstrels and jugglers in the twentieth century? Could 

1 If we make one thing the literary source of another, if we make the work of Roman 
mimi the source of the work of mediaeval jongleurs, then we mean the first thing is the 
direct and ascertainable source of the second thing. We do not mean that vaguely and 
despite our utter lack of proof the first thing is in a general sort of way perhaps in its age 
what the second thing is in its later time. 

If we flnd, that is, in the work of any mediaeval jongleur forms, phrases, types of 
expression or of character, themes, ideas which are identical with, or similar to, the manner 
of Roman mimi, then and only then can we make mime spiritual ancestor of the jongleur. 
But if all these matters with which the work of the jongleur has to do are referred back 
to fifth-century Roman mimi simply because the Latin words for entertainer are not 
done away with in the records which mark the interim between that time and the time 
of the jongleur, then we have no right to make Roman mimus spiritual ancestor to 
mediaeval jongleur. 

For, if such a thing were permissible, we could trace back our mediaeval mimi to an 
antiquity more hoar than that indicated by the mimic dances to the phallic, fat-bellied 
spirits of fertility in the ninth century B. c. Schroder, proceeding from the theory of 
Silvain Le'vi and Hertel that certain dialogue-songs in the Rigveda are texts of the oldest 
known dramatic-musical performances, has recently made it likely that these songs owe 
their inclusion in the canon of the book to their use as mysteries or cult-dramas. The 
hymns in burlesque manner he regards as mimes, one of which he calls "The Drunken 
Indra" (quoted from the review by E. H. in Litter arisches Zentralblatt (1909), col. 19, of 
von Schroder's Mysterium und Mimus im Rigveda (1908). It would, indeed, be along 
line of honorable descent if we might thus trace our way from Gerhard Hauptmann (see 
Reich, Vol. I, p. 894) to dances which occurred centuries before the mimic poems in the 
Rigveda. But who would call the author of such a mimic poem from, say, 1500 B. c. a 
spiritual ancestor of Hauptmann! 

2 Of. Reich, Der Mimus, pp. 849 ff., and Petit de Julleville, Repertoire du the&tre 
comique en France au moyen-dge (1886), p. 156; Chambers, Mediaeval Stage, p. 83. 



the continuance of these names not be made to mean that we of 
today owe all our realistic portrayal in literature, all our magic of 
the theater directly to the Roman saltimbanques who set some, 
Trimalchio's dinner table in a roar? 

Names continue. All words do which symbolize general con- 
cepts. We hear of "comedy" and "tragedy" all the way from 
barbarian Rome to this very day ; likewise of " epic " and " romance " 
and "lyric." 1 But who will claim that there is a constant tradition 
of any one of these great divisions of literature from then till now? 
They have come and gone, risen and faded and fallen the pressure 
of a changing world has shaped them. Church and popular festival, 
old religion and new philosophy, time of reform and season of indul- 
gence, ephemeral fads and enduring verities these are all mirrored 
somewhat in the realistic prose and poetry of the period which 
separates us from the dead past. And this sort of thing we owe 
by direct tradition to Roman saltimbanques? I doubt it. 2 

1 Comedy and tragedy during the Middle Ages were completely lost sight of except 
in name; cf. von Schack, Gesch d. dramatischen Lit. u. Kunst in Spanien, Vol. I (1854)2, 
p. 25; Piper, Archiv. f. Litteraturgesch., Vol. V (1875), p. 494; Cloetta, op. cit., p. 2; Glock, 
op. cit., p. 29. The epic is dead and yet the name is on the lips of all exactly as if it 
existed today; modern romances are very different things from mediaeval ones, etc. 
But who could read these things clearly from casual mention of the names of these 
literary types in widely separated records? 

2 In " a general way" everything reverts to something before it; in " a general way, " 
then, modern jugglers and mimes are descended from ancient prototypes, just as modern 
stone-masons or cobblers are. (I choose cobblers because of the fine irony with which 
Winterfeld dismisses Herzog's contention that no connection existed between ancient 
and mediaeval mimes: "Also Schuster gab es, bloss sie konnten keine Schuhe mehr 
machen?" Cf. Herrigs Archiv, Vol. CXIV [1905], p. 49, and Berliner philologische 
Wochenschrift [1904], No. 34.) Why try to make modern cobblers the children of 
Roman shoemakers of the fifth century? The boots of barbarian Rome are not the 
boots of nowadays. They differ in shape, color, materials, size, cost, method of making, 
purpose, and appeal. Of what avail to build up a theory regarding them in Rome and 
the direct indebtedness of modern boots to them, on the basis of numerous references 
to boots, shoes, slippers, pumps, and spats in chronicles and decretals of the Dark 
Ages, particularly if these references are unfailingly confused and indistinct? 

The danger of misreading such records is obvious. A pamphlet of Kelle's is at 
hand to furnish a clever illustration (Wiener Sitzungsberichte, Vol. CLXI [1908], No. 2) 
of the absurdity to which the hunting of reminiscences of German paganism in mediaeval 
decretals may lead. "Chori saecularium," "cantica puellarum" we learn with a sigh 
are not the uproar of dance-rounds, not the immodest sport of girls' songs forcing their 
way to the ears of nuns in the cloister, as Wackernagel imagined; nor are they profane 
lays and ballads of maidens which early in the ninth century, according to good pagan 
custom, still crowded into the church and its vicinity and later were sung on holidays in 
the street and in houses, as Mullenhoff and Scherer asserted. They are just plain state- 
ments concerning the religious anthems of the laity and the hymnic songs of nuns. We 
can not even have longer ,Mt seems, the heathen sacrificial meal in connection with "con- 
vivia in ecclesia." 



3. No other ancestry than Roman mimus visible? 

It is still difficult for us to regard the tenth century sanely. Our 
attitude, which should be simply one of historical understanding 
based upon an examination of the relevant facts, is apt to be one of 
either admiration or reproach. Adulation, if we are still under the 
spell of that nineteenth-century Romanticism which substitutes 
poetry for philology and gives us delicate analyses a la Simrock of 
the nature myths, the heroic legend, the theogony of northern 
antiquity. 1 Reproach, if we generalize from purely fortuitous or 
incidental sources of knowledge and hark back to the sermons, the 
satires, and the church-penitentials to show that in the tenth cen- 
tury intelligence was at a low ebb and moral integrity extremely 
rare. 2 

But if the critic of this time tries to free himself from precon- 
ception of it and proceeds toward a sympathetic insight into its 
life through careful study I cannot see how he will fail so to appre- 
ciate its achievements as to believe this tenth century incapable of 
producing fresh and realistic prose and poetry of its own initiative, 
and quite without the aid of any Roman vaudeville performer or his 
descendant. For the tenth century is in many ways a great age. 

A thirst for knowledge is in it, as in the sixteenth century, even 
though both periods are in a sense times of preparation and of 
unfulfilled promises. 3 The humanists Richer of St. Remy and Ger- 
bert of Rheims are not more isolated phenomena than were Thomas 
Platter and Johannes Butzbach. 4 A sheer delight in worldly litera- 
ture penetrates every monastery. 5 Monks cultivate profane themes, 

iCf. Uhl, Winiliod (1908), p. 1. 

2Cf. Scherer's essay "Mittelalter und Gegenwart" in Vortrdge und Aufsatze (1874), 
pp. 322 f.; also Charles Langlois, La societe franfaise au xiiie sitcle (1904)2, pp. ii-xvl. 

3 See Scherer's interesting comparison of the two epochs in his Oesch. d. deul. 
Dichtung, pp. 2 ff. 

* Read of Richer's trip from Rheims to Chartres, that he might see the Logic of 
Hippocrates, Richeri historiae, ed. Waitz (1877), Bk. IV, chap. 50, and Ker's account of 
Gerbert, Dark Ages, pp. 198 ff. Nothing seems to warrant Egger's view (L' hellcnisme 
en France, Vol. I, p. 51) that such figures as Richer and Gerbert in the tenth century, 
Scotus Erigena hi the ninth, are exceptions and prodigies. 

& Notker Labeo, for example, was urged to translate into German not only the 
Bucolics of Vergil, but the Andria of Terence; cf. Kelle, Gesch. d. deut. Lit., Vol. I, pp. 
233 f. We also recall how Godehard, on assuming his duties in a new cloister, had 
Horace and Cicero's Letters sent to nun. For further reference to monastic study of 
"frivolous" literature cf. Scherer, Geistliche Poeten der deutschen Kaiserzeit (1874, 1875), 
2 vols. 



and minstrels themes from sacred story. 1 Scherer's division of the 
poets of this day into two parties: one guild the ecclesiastics, the 
pillars of Christianity and of all really Scriptural culture in literary 
form, the other guild the minstrels, the wandering folk-singers, the 
inheritors of paganism and its poetry, cannot be accepted. 2 Nor 
did these two guilds "fight each other tooth and nail." 

Monks and minstrels get their material everywhere, 3 wander far 
in search of it, incorporate it into chronicles and collections of 
exempla and stories and thus lay the foundations for the innumerable 
chapbooks and romances of future ages. A literary tradition is 
begun for the lighter forms of art, one that feeds and parallels oral 
transmission. We meet now not only the phrase "in cantilenis 
priscis cantantur" but "in veteribus libris legitur." 4 Particularly 
after the coronation of Otto I in 962 do clerks and minstrels journey 
indefatigably southward, to come back freighted with strange wares 
in the way of tales and entertaining poems; many a jovial monk 
and scholar sets this contraband of religion into Latin lines. Soldiers 
and peddlers back from Italy, eager to boast, eager to please, con- 

1 The Geata Karoli has profane themes. Fableaux (schwanke) and mendacious songs 
(cantilenae mendosae) fairly sprout in the cloisters and grammar schools of the cathedrals. 
Many of these have their origin in definitely-known occurrences and in connection with 
the games and holiday pranks of the pupils. Such license as Fitz-Stephen tells of in the 
monastery schools of a later day existed at least as early as the ninth century, and no 
occasion was too trivial for its exercise. Witness how the youth "sang mocking songs 
of Notker when they had drunk wine," [so tu6nt noh kenuSge, singent fone demo der 
In fro unreht uu6ret] how Gunzo of Novara was lampooned in mischievous verses 
(lascivulis versibus) by a youngster of St. Gall because the famous grammarian 
had used an accusative for an ablative. For other records see Kelle, op. cit., 
Vol. I, pp. 205 f.; Allen, Modern Philology, Vol. VI, pp. 21, 398. Godehard, bishop of 
Hildesheim (1022-38) proves that monks and clerks are authors and amateurs of profane 
realistic poetry when he says: "Quoddam autem talium genus, illorum scilicet, qui vel 
in monachico vel canonico vel etiam Graeco habitu per regiones et regna discurrunt, 
quos et Platonis more Perypatheticos irridendo cognominavit, illos, inquam, prorsus 
exprobrando quasi execrabatur." Monum. Germ. hist. Scriptores, Vol. XI, p. 207. On 
the other hand the minstrels often took their subjects from sacred legend and story: the 
theme of little John the monk is from the Vitae patrum (cf . Allen, Modern Philology, Vol. 
V, p. 468), the Triumphus Sancti Remacli (eleventh century) is by a "cantator quidam 
jocularis" (Monum. Germ. hist. Scriptores, Vol. XI, p. 456), etc. 

2 Cf . Scherer's essay on the intellectual life in mediaeval Austria in his Vortrage und 
Aufsdtze, p. 130. 

s Minstrels borrow their materials from the old myths, the animal-fable, legend, 
heroic story drolly distorted (Saleman and Morolt), history, and daily life. "In this way 
a multitude of German tales, legends, and tableaux certainly owe their origin to the 
activity of these ministrels in the ninth, tenth, and eleventh centuries. This time was 
apparently the richest quarry for them." Mftllenhofl, Sagen, Marchen, Lieder, p. xix. 

*De fundatione monasterii Tegrinsee; Fez, Thesaurus anecdotarum novus, Vol. Ill, 
Pt. -ii. p. 493. 



tribute their quota. The old story is being retold: German armies 
are crossing the Alps, sweeping victoriously over northern Italy (this 
time Lombardy), stopping a while near the center of the world's 
culture to gather their spoils of war, streaming homeward laden 
with booty, some of gold most of civilization and of art. 

Now this is the sort of age which critics think could not bear 
rich fruitage of its own. And so we are asked to find its origin in 
the Italian mimus. Heyne pictures these mimi 1 increasing in Ger- 
man territory during the migration period, venturing out singly or 
in troops to the village or the isolated manor, following the bands 
of warriors, presenting in camp their pantomimes, puppet-shows, 
sword-plays, gladiatorial exercises, and arts of legerdemain. 2 He 
says these mimi outlasted the migration period and continued to 
thrive during the following epochs. 

Let Johannes Kelle continue the tale. 3 He has gathered his 
information from the most diverse sources from fourth to thirteenth 
century and this is the result : In the beginning of the ninth century, 
ever increasing in numbers, there roamed throughout the Prankish 
empire the descendants of the old mimi and histriones, who had 
become completely demoralized in the Merovingian epoch. Pipers, 
drummers, fiddlers, singers, dancers, jugglers, blood-letters, barbers, 
cuppers 4 had likewise in the ninth century become indispensable to 
the Germanic people, much as the latter despised them because of 
their un-German venality and their insatiable greed. They added 
luster to every festive occasion by their dances, obscene songs, 
topical hits, and legerdemain. The Roman mimi were everywhere 
most welcome guests, but especially at wedding banquets. 

And Winterfeld may add the epilogue: In the middle of the 
eleventh century he thinks "it would seem a matter of course that 
mimes shot out of the earth like mushrooms after a rain," he avers 

i In his essay on "Unehrliche Hantierungen" in Das altdeutsche Handwerk (1908), 
pp. 101 flf. 

" These phrases of Heyne are apparently based upon no surer a foundation than the 
moonlit picture by Freytag (Bilder aus der deutschen Vergangenheit, Vol. II, Pt. i, pp. 
445 f.) of the well-known passage in Procopius (De bello vandalico, Bk. II, chap. 6) 
"Roman jugglers and mimes presented before the bloody Vandal hordes the obscenest 
pantomimes." Cf. Crome's preface to Das altdeutsche Handwerk, p. vi. 

3 Gesch. d. deul. Lit., Vol. I, p. 70. 

* This list is from the Sachsenspiegel, ed. Homeyer (1861)3, p. 194. 



that Notker and Roswitha owe the best of their work to these mimi, 
and ends by saying that only through the mime and his continued 
existence can one understand and explain the literary development 
of the centuries. 1 

We are, then, asked to believe the following: Roman mimes 
before and after the fall of the empire spread northward in the 
pursuit of their profession. They adapted themselves so snugly to 
the ideas of their new environment, by catering to old social needs 
and creating novel ones, that they handed down their art from 
father to son, from teacher to pupil for eight centuries. They 
became the mouthpiece for every sort of popular entertainment 
outside the pale of literary transmission. 

Now, if this be so, we can discover the traces of these thousands 
of all-important people not only in the sorry lists of their class- 
names in dusty chronicle and decretal, but here and there and every- 
where in the lighter and more realistic writings of their day. We 
shall find, as Winterfeld wants us to, these mimi peering out from 
behind fables, tales, romances, dramas, fableaux, satires, historical 
poems, sacred ballads, and lyric poems. 2 And here I shall look for 

1 Herrigs Archiv, Vol. CXIV, pp. 74, 49. 

2 There is something illogical in according the mimi during the Dark Ages a lion's 
share in molding and continuing all the realistic and popular themes of these times, and 
at the same breath excluding them from active participation in that one enduring form 
of poetic narrative and expression which for centuries as yet unnumbered held the Ger- 
man fancy captive: the heroic epic. Ages before the minstrel-romances Herzog Ernst 
and Konig Rother Winterf eld's mimes should have "polished up the motives of native 
heroic legend with adventurous journeys and coarse jokes," if these mimi are what he 
supposes them to be. Then too, we should find an explanation for some things in Ekke- 
hard's Waltharius, and it would be the descendant of a Roman mime who furnished 
accidental plot and bye-work for the materials of the Latin Nibelung-story. 

If I were convinced these southern mimi played the r61e in the literature of the 
Dark Ages which Winterfeld pretends, I should not hesitate to find in their activity an 
explanation for various puzzling matters in the early transmission of German popular 
epic stories and legends. No false "piety" would deter me. A fine characterization 
of such "piety" breathes in Michel Breal's essay on the first influence of Rome on the 
Germanic world (Journal des savants [1889], pp. 624, 626, 697). I should believe, for 
instance, that the heroic songs of the Goths were first and best and most enduring of all 
Germanic popular ballads because they came closest to an appreciation of the work of 
the Roman mimi and were most affected by it. If such mimes as Winterfeld's were mine, 
I should understand why much of the older epic material was in the form of a compara- 
tively short dramatic ballad (Ker, Epic and Romance [1908] 2 ; Heusler, Lied und Epos 
[1905]), not one that could be used as a single chapter in the framework of a long narrative 
epic, but a compact and individual unit. For I should realize how close such work is to 
other effort of which Winterfeld suspects the mime: historical ballad, for instance. 

Bedier (Lea legendes epiques [1908]) has recently had strange tales to tell us of how 
certain chansons de geste originated and first achieved their popularity. Whatever 
acceptance his conclusions may gain in the field of French epic legends, one matter of 



them. Now unless I discover traces of their handiwork here in no 
uncertain way I shall disbelieve as I have good right to that there 
is any connection between Roman mime and mediaeval jongleur 
and spielmann. It is, of course, in the literary records of the Dark 
Ages that I shall hunt, for if the thread of continuity snap at this 
point, it is little likely that it was ever thereafter mended. And 
now to work. 


general import he has given us. He has shown that epic ballads (heroic songs) did not 
mysteriously evolve the moment some conspicuous deed of prowess was done, and then 
go echoing in oral transmission down the centuries until some tardy mediaeval person 
wrote a romance based upon these ballads. Rather was a deliberate art requisite at the 
beginning, and literary instead of oral preservation to be supposed. Now as the brightest 
and most adaptable poets in Europe for six critical centuries or so were the descendants 
of Roman minii, if they were as Winterfeld supposes, it would be they who accounted 
for the humor and life of older epic material, for the first-hand description of it, for its 
realism and its dramatic pressure. Such mimi would then teach us why the German epic 
is not one sort of thing: an unalloyed alliterative poetry, the treasured formula of genera- 
tions of scopas, but rather a mosaic of elements, diverse in manner and matter, wherein 
we find lyric and pastoral and dramatic and gnomic ingredients. 

Were Winterfeld's mimi mine, I should account for the disappearance of the old 
alliterative poetry and the appearance of end-rime, not by saying it sprang from a 
degeneration or torpescence of the stave-form itself, but hold it due to the influence of 
Latin popular poetry brought into Germany by muni. I should then believe the fall 
from favor of the old-fashioned harp-playing vassal the result, not of the rise of the 
Frankish empire and the consequent decline of the smaller courts, but of the new popu- 
larity of Italian mimi. The demoralization, or humanizing, of the mythical elements in 
heroic poetry, the appearance in it of new personalities (Henry, the Ottos, their supporters 
and opponents), the newer sort of epic poetry dealing with contemporary events these 
things might find explanation, not so much in the national consciousness which Germany 
developed under the Saxon emperors, as in the successful practice of poetry by the guild 
of Italian mimi. A shorter type of lyrical popular ballad which appears in the ninth and 
tenth century might, too, be conditioned by new music and melodies introduced by mimi 
if they were only such as we are asked to believe them. 


Modern Philology 

VOL. VIII Jufy, igiO No. i 


I certainly did not suspect, when in an earlier part of this essay 
I promised to examine the literary records of the Dark Ages for 
traces of the mimi, that anyone would question the reasonableness of 
my search. But quite recently Edmund Faral has asserted that 
hunting in these records for Latin mimi is love's labor lost. He says 

Pe"rissable comme la joie des banquets et des f6tes qu'ils 6gayaient, 
1'ceuvre des mimes s'est perdue. Du chant des poetes il n'est rien reste" 

de plus que de 1'adresse e'phe'mere des saltimbanques En fin de 

compte, il y a deux choses que, dans l'e"tat actuel de nos connaissances, 
il faut renoncer a savoir: c'est s'il y a une relation entre les poemes 
latins que nous avons conserve's et les oauvres des mimes; c'est ensuite, 
si cette relation existe, quelle elle est. On ne peut elever ici que de 
freles conjectures. Si les mimes ont chante", leurs chants ont e"te" 
enferme's avec eux dans le tombeau, et ce qu'il en est reste" dans la 
memoire de leurs contemporains s'est Sparpille", de'forme' et perdu. 1 

I admit being frankly bored by obiter dicta such as these of 
Faral's. Neither he nor anyone else knows what a careful search 
will bring about until the material has been personally examined. 
I am as impatient as Faral, or any other student, of that unfortunate 
tendency in modern investigation: viz., to examine with brave dis- 
play of erudition every stray bit of philological evidence that exists 
regarding the mimus, and then to jump to any conclusion which 
suits the irresponsible whim of the historian. For this evident 

1 Of. Let jongleurt en France au moyen-dge (1910), 14, 16. 
1] 17 | MODERN PHILOLOGY, July, 1910 


fault Faral rightly censures Paul von Winterfeld, and I agree with 
him. But not to examine whatever evidence we possess as to the 
existence of Latin mimi during the Dark Ages, and then to denominate 
them straight out the fathers of the mediaeval jongleurs (and Faral 
does this) is a highhanded proceeding. 

How can Faral be so sure that the work of the mimi was as perish- 
able as the gaiety of the banquets which they enlivened, unless he 
look about him to make sure? There is a priori no more reason why 
an eighth- or ninth-century chronicle should not catalogue the 
repertory of the mimus, than why a thirteenth-century Provencal 
novel should tell us so much about the activity of the jongleurs. 
If, that is, the mimi did sing the popular songs and tell the popular 
stories of their day, as the later jongleurs did, why then it seems to 
me almost imperative that we search the literary records of that day, 
almost sure that we shall come across their traces in these records. 

To discover what the jongleur was doing in the Middle Ages, 
one has but to turn to Flamenco, 1 and learn how he played on every 
conceivable musical instrument and had at his tongue's tip every 
popular song and story in Europe; but we can only theorize about 
what the mimus was doing in the Dark Ages in the way of song and 
story. Faral asserts that during the Dark Ages the mimus was 
doing what the jongleur did later, only that the former's repertoire 
was much smaller. And I say that Faral has no right to an opinion 
in the matter, because he confessedly places no reliance upon the 
literary records in his search for mimus, because he trusts implicitly 
in the historical records of the Dark Ages. 

Now these historical records are unfortunately not only mute 
as to what songs and stories the Latin mimi brought into Europe, 
but they are untrustworthy sources as well for any specific knowledge 
regarding their exact activity. We have seen above and we shall see 
again below how little value can be accorded the indiscriminate 
lists of various classes of popular entertainers contained in the his- 
torical records Faral prizes so highly. The reasons for this untrust- 
worthiness and the bibliography of the records themselves I have 
already sufficiently treated. 2 Let us, however, turn for a moment 

1 Ed. Paul Meyer (1865), vss. 584 fl. 

* Modern Philology, V, 436 fl., VII, 337 fl.; cf. also the excursus at the end of this 



to the excellent list of old German glosses for "poet, singer, enter- 
tainer" made ten years ago by Schonbach, 1 as the most graphic way 
in which we can here illustrate the confusion which confronts that 
historian who, like Faral, would determine just what any one word 
such as scop or mimus meant at the first dawn of the Middle Ages. 

We discover that Zimmer was doubtless right in his suggestion 
that scop meant not alone the dignified epic singer of antiquity but 
one who entertained his audience with quip and joke, 2 we find that 
mimus meant not alone the Roman vaudeville artist but minstrel 
in the widest sense of the word. 3 How, when such is the state of 
the case, can Faral depose that descendants of the Latin vaudeville- 
performers were the ancestors of the jongleurs? It is true that we 
do know more or less about the monkey-tricks of early mimi, as we 
do about those of the later jongleurs. And in a certain way we can 
trace the tricks of the one back to those of the other, 4 for in Flamenco, 
we find our old favorite turns of Empire days still in vogue: 

603 L'us fai lo juec dels banastelz 
L'autre jugava de coutelz; 
L'us vai per sol e 1'autre tomba, 
L'autre balet ab sa retomba; 
L'us passet sercle, 1'autre sail; 
Neguns a son mestier non fail. 

But it is jiot of the circus-performer or of the variety-actor that we 
are thinking when we speak of jongleur as the child of mimus; it 
is of the creative artist, the poet, the fashioner and preserver of 
literary themes and types. Faral seems to forget this salient fact, 
or he would wilfully blind our eyes to it, for he does nothing toward 
narrowing and limiting his definition either of mimus or jongleur. 
On the contrary he deliberately enlarges it. 

I object strenuously to this enlargement of the definition of jongleurs 
to mean "tous ceux qui faisaient profession de divertir les hommes/' 5 

1 Wiener Sitzungsberichte, CXLII, Part VII, 61 fl. I should have forgotten this 
reference had Mr. G. L. Hamilton not recalled it to me. 

2 Zimmer, Quellen und Forschungen, XIII (1876), 287 f.; Schonbach, op. cit., 64. 
1 Schonbach, op. cit., 67. 

4 Although it is often by no means necessary to do so. In their continual search 
or concrete sources, students are prone to forget what Crusius calls the homely Aristo- 
telian truth, that the impulse to play and to imitate is among the most elemental stirrings 
of the human soul, and that this common impulse sometimes quite innocently creates 
similar types of vaudeville among peoples which have never come into close contact. 
* Faral, op. cit., 2. 



if it is to be at once used to prove that mediaeval spielmann and jongleur 
derive straight from Latin mimus. Such enlargement simply clouds 
the issue. Remember, if you please, that when Faral says "les 
jongleurs e"taient bel et bien des mimes" his readers at once and 
naturally imagine that Faral is claiming for the best of mediaeval 
art, for music, song, and story, a Latin origin. For these readers 
are thinking of jongleurs as did Diez: 1 "tous ceux qui faisaient de 
la poesie ou de la musique un me" tier." They are not thinking, nor 
do they care to think, of the jongleurs as including "la nombreuse 
cate"gorie des saltimbanques, des acrobates et des faiseurs de tours." 2 
I am not seeking the origin of the skill which permitted mediaeval 
trapeze-performers to swing by their toes or by their teeth, which 
taught balance on the slack-wire, which sent swords and stones and 
fire down the living throat, which distorted the human frame into 
strange shapes, which with a touch of the hand kept a circle of ten gilt 
balls in the air without one falling to the ground. Neither I, nor any 
other reader of Faral, cares tuppence at the present juncture whether 
all the monkey-tricks and the circus-art of the Middle Ages came 
straight from imperial Rome, or from Sparta, or from Thebes. What 
we do care for at this moment is to tear the veil from the apparent 
mystery which enshrouds the birth in early mediaeval Europe of 
the vernacular and realistic art of that jongleur who sang songs and 
told stories well worth listening to. Now if we confuse this sort 
of artist with every contemporary parasite and clown, or if we 
believe this artist got all his great and living art from earlier genera- 
tions of professional jesters and fools who "avaient innniment 
elargi le repertoire de leurs exercices primitifs, qu'ils 1'avaient vari6 
et complique" ," 3 then let us say simply that figs grow from thistles 
and that bricks are made from straw. It is an old artifice of the 
schools, this one of which we find Faral guilty: he enlarges his 
definition of jongleur, as do Reich and Winterfeld theirs of mimus, 
until "it includes everything they wish it to. They then gravely 
derive from their swollen concepts whatever they wish and with a 
wave of the hand strut from the stage leaving behind them a puzzled 

1 Die Poesie der Troubadours, 31. 

* Faral, 2, n. 1; cf. also his recent book Mimes franyais du xiiie tibcle (1910). 

'Faral, 12. 



audience. French has a word for such artifice which other languages 
than English have copied: legerdemain. 

We have seen that mimus is used by critics of the literature of 
the Dark Ages to mean: (1) Dramatic Performance; (2) Vaudeville; 
(3) Actor or Entertainer. 1 

What then does Reich mean when he says that "everything 
dramatic in the world's literature that is not classic or imitated 
from classic models is mimus"? 2 What does Winterfeld mean 
when he asserts that "only through the continued existence of the 
mimus can we understand the development of the centuries " ? 3 

In such statements they do not restrict the term "mimus" and 
it is very important to realize this to any one type of performance 
(such as drama, recited poem, or song), nor yet to any one type of 
performer. They make mimus betoken a certain literary attitude, 
they make it synonymous with realism. Reich calls almost " every- 
thing dramatic" mimus; Winterfeld says that the art of profane 
narration (weltliche fabulierkunst) and real life itself (das lebendige 
leberi) are mimus. The latter would have us call mimus every 
realistic and living portrayal in prose and poetry during the Dark 
Ages. I protest. 

It is not common-sense to make mimus in any age connote 
biologia. It is wrong to surrender bodily all the creative realistic 
literature of the Dark Ages to the commonplace crowd of second- 
rate vaudeville artists who may have swept northward from Italy 
during the migration period. 4 It is absurd to trace the life-giving 
roots of this creative literature to the purely conventional art of 
these people. 

For vaudeville art is conventional. In the more than two thou- 
sand years that we have known of it, the canons of this art have 

1 Cf. Modern Philology, VII, 329-32. 

2 Cf. Der Mimus, I (1903). 

3 References to Winterfeld in the pages which follow are to his essay "Der Mimus im 
Mittelalter," Herrig's Archiv, CXIV, 48-75, 293-324, unless another title is cited. 

4 Crusius remarks with much good sense: "I fancy that the authors and reciters 
of mimes during the empire did not claim to create works of any artistic far less of any 
literary merit. They furnished, as do our manufacturers of farces, salable stuff for a 
Roman season." Their audience was "the nobles who shouted themselves hoarse over 
the bear-mimes and the dog-shows, over the meaningless and sterile clatter of the circus 
and the vaudeville; the crowd of Philistines, shopkeepers, and barbarians who seized 
the reins of government." Cf. Crusius, "Ueber das Phantastische im Mimus," lib erg* 
Neue Jahrbucher (1910), 101. 



been but seldom violated, few if any great creations have sprung 
from it. During all the centuries of which we have record, the mimi 
have been doing much the same thing in the same way. Their jokes 
bloom perennial, the business of the old mimi may be seen today 
on the stage of any variety-theater or in the circus-ring. It is 
nothing short of wonderful, how little their repertory and tricks 
have changed from the earliest known times when topical song, 
suggestive dance, portrayal of types of low life, dialect-recital, boast- 
ing, repartee, juggling, sleight of hand, buffoonery, and slap-stick 
were the vogue. 

But if it is wrong to surrender creative realistic literature to 
the mimi, it is no better, I believe, to accord it bag and baggage to 
the scop. Kogel, for example, says that with the rise of the Frankish 
empire and the consequent downfall of the smaller courts the honor- 
able state of the ancient poets had come into disrepute. He says 
that the impoverished descendants of the old scoffa now led a vagrant 
existence in German territory, had to reckon with the tastes of their 
new audience, the commoner herd, and were thus compelled to 
include farcical elements in their repertory. Thus, he explains, the 
poet became often a merry-andrew (joculator, scurra) ; thus it was that 
more vulgar narrative was fostered, that a great mass of fableaux and 
short stories suddenly appears in the second half of the ninth century. 1 

I am thankful for Kogel's word "suddenly." For, if the creative 
realistic writing of the late ninth and early tenth centuries had not 
appeared " suddenly " ; if it had come into being fearfully, painfully, 
step by step then I should be almost persuaded that it was due 
to the gradual elevation of the repertory of the mimus, or the gradual 
degeneration of the scop, or the gradual awakening from a long 
sleep on the part of the monk. But there is nothing gradual about 
it this mediaeval renaissance. 2 The most superficial examination 
of earlier records suffices to teach us that in the ninth century 

1 Of. Pauls Grundriss\ II. 62, 129. 

2 In this term I do not of course include, as does Scherer, that earlier and abortive 
"renaissance" which Charles the Great inaugurated, when on his return from the Italian 
campaigns he tried to gather at his court the best of the Latin culture of the world. For 
a profane literature divorced from theology did not at that time exist to any degree that 
made itself a factor in future German writing. Cf. Haurgau, Charlemagne et sa cour 
(1854), Mullinger, The Schools of Charles the Great (1877), Poole, Illustrations of the flt- 
tory of Mediaeval Thought (1884), Roger, L'enseignement des lettres classiques (1905). 



realistic narrative literature came into existence at a single bound, 
just as at a later period the drama did. For this phenomenon 
nothing that we know of the opportunity confronting either mimus 
or scop, nothing we know about their ability to answer to a new 
opportunity in the ninth century, offers a sufficient explanation. 
If the impulse to new types of realistic narrative is to come, it pre- 
sumably must come from without. 1 The mode or manner of this new 
variation in literature we know; but what is the cause of it? 

To photograph life in art requires genius; it requires the imme- 
diate personal vision. One more thing is necessary before a realistic 
scene can take lasting form in a conscious literary product: viz., a 
diction suited to the purpose of the author. Of these two requisites 
for a living art, genius is of course the greater and the rarer. Shall 
we deny this visualizing power in the Dark Ages to the monk and 
the nun, as critics do, and accord it to the mimus or the scop? Shall 
we believe the vaudeville-artist could lay aside his slap-stick and 
write the tales of the monk of St. Gall 2 or tell Roswitha's legend of 
the founding of Gandersheim? 3 Not I. 

1 It means little to me when Hertz in his Spielmannsbuch (2 f.) derives the older 
German minstrels from three groups: scopas, mimi, and vagrant clerks; it means little 
that Schonbach (op. cit., 62) agrees with him in the main. For neither of these scholars 
makes clear the time, the reason, or the occasion of such a merging, except to posit 
it as possible. In other words they dodge, wittingly or not, the main issue. For if 
three differing art-forms were ever united into a new art-form, then we may be sure some 
specific impulse was necessary to bring about so desirable a result. To call attention to 
the opportunity of such a mingling of varied elements, without assigning a definite and 
valid reason therefor, accomplishes nothing. In every age of which we have record there 
has been constant opportunity to marry divergent forms of artistic expression and as 
the legitimate child of such wedlock secure a new literary type. But only rarely, 
apparently, has this happened, because the proper occasion was lacking. 

2 Doubtless Notker Balbulus; see Zeumer, Historische Aufsatze dem Andenken an 
Georg Waitz gewidmet (1886), 97 f.; Zeppelin, Wer ist der monachus sangallensis? (1890). 

3 As the story is known to few if any of my readers, I give it here in a translation 
which leans heavily upon the German rendition of Winterfeld: 

Old people tell the story, they who know the truth, 

How once long years ago by the cloister a forest stood 

Buried in mountain-shadows just as we are today. 

Deep in the midst of the woods there lay a farm 

Where Lord Ludolf's herdsmen were wont to search for pasture; 

In the hut of the tenant-farmer they found a night of rest 

As they stretched the wearied body on a lowly cot, 

When the time it was for guarding their master's herds of swine. 

Now here it came to pass that on two separate days 

Before the Feast of All Saints the hour of night was late 

The swains saw many a light flash in the forest dark. 

And as they looked at the vision at its meaning they marveled long, ^, 

For they beheld the luster all of a glory strange 


But it should never be forgotten that prior to the tenth century 
at least cultured German poets felt themselves impelled to express 
most of their thoughts in a foreign medium, Latin a medium which 
no one of them commanded freely, and for two reasons. First, 
before a wider dissemination of education than then existed there 
would be none who could attain the stylistic ease which characterized 
the writings of twelfth-century men of letters; second, in the ninth 
and tenth centuries simplicity and correctness were rarely striven 
for, bombast and a rhetoric of word-inflation were the goal. 1 

Now, I find no surer indication that it is not mimus or scop 
but monk to whom we owe the re-creation of realistic art in the 
ninth and tenth centuries than that it is just the monks and their 

That shone so bright and steady through the grayness of the night. 

Slow and a-tremble they told it to the tenant of the fee, 

Hun they pointed the spot which but now the light had illumined; 

And the wish was in his heart to see if the story were true, 

So he joined himself to then- group out under the open sky 

And together they set the watch through all the following night. 

No slumber lent its weight to their unwavering eyelids 

Till they had seen again the lights which glistened there 

On the self-same spot, brighter than tune before, 

At the very hour which the former night had known. 

In the morning when the sun rose its first beams 

Saw spread abroad the quickening words of rumor, 

Tidings glad of the omen and of its fortunate sign. 

Nor was the matter one to keep from Ludolf the duke, 

Without delay the tale entered his listening ears. 

And he made bold himself to see on the night of the feast 

If to his anxious waiting there might not return again 

The hoped-for symbol shown in the sky above; 

And under the forest-roof with many he stayed and watched. 

But now when night had veiled the lands in her gray mist. 

All round about in a circle there shone in the valley-glen, 

Where one time the cloister should uprear its proud mass, 

Full many a clear light twinkling in every place, 

Which in the radiant glory of its bright beams 

Broke through the shade of the woods, through the gloom of the night. 

At this from a single throat they sang the praise of the Lord, 

Said with one accord here was the sacred place 

To serve and honor Him who had filled it with His glory. 

And thus with grateful heart for all the mercy of God 

At the will of Ode his wife Duke Ludolf halted not 

From that time forth to fell the forest-trees, 

Uproot the thorns, and clear the valley's dells. 

He changed the wilderness where gnome and goblin dwelled 

To be a place of purity where God's praise loudly echoed. 

Whatever things were needful he gathered on the spot 

And laid the broad foundation of the cloister in that place 

Which the sign had shown him with its radiance clear. 

Of. Modern Philology, VI, 10 f. 


work which furnished all the bases of the mediaeval renaissance. 
Notker, Froumund, Ekkehard, the author of Ruodlieb and of the 
Ecbasis, Roswitha it is such spirits, struggling with an inept Latin, 
who gave direction to the glories of a later and vernacular literature; 
they were the torchbearers. Popular proverbs and tales, the volks- 
lieder sung on the streets, the saws of the humblest minstrel, fables 
learned in distant lands it was not the patter of Italian vaudeville- 
artists which brought them into literature and held them there 
forever; it was the toilsome, if loving, labor of these same monks. 1 

It was a great thing that these ecclesiastics did, uniting diverse 
elements that had hitherto been separate : finding expression for the 
humbler and more real elements of vernacular tradition in a Latin 
diction learned from long occupation with biblical-classical models. 
For this combination made in the monasteries during the ninth and 
tenth centuries established a new variation in literary forms which 
gave life and meaning to European literature. 

Till that time there were at least three distinct streams of self- 
conscious and conventional art which ran parallel one to the other 
but which, so far as we know, never merged their identities: 

1. Alliterative mytho-epic ballads, changing little through the cen- 
turies except as the people's belief in, and remembrance of, the 
older myths paled, and as new heroes came to replace the older 
ones. This type of '"popular poetry" it is often believed was, if 
not created by, quite surely carried on and shaped by Germanic 

2. Vaudeville: the lighter entertainment of every sort from mere 
juggling to farce which passed from age to age unscotched and it 
is often believed was brought into Europe by Roman mimi, and 
long continued there. 

3. Monastic copying of biblical and classical tradition, which leaned 
entirely on the materials, emotions, and forms of the past and mani- 

i At this point it may be objected by my reader that I do not take sufficiently into 
account the poetic coherence and the artistic beauty of the humble models which these 
monks occasionally incorporated into work of their own. In answer let me say that I 
believe any effectiveness which popular German art of the Dark Ages had was not due 
to the spasmodic effort of unlettered, unalert, and unimaginative men dwelling in some 
isolated community. No, it was in a crowded center of culture, where stirred throngs 
gathered, that the throes of composition brought forth an enduring and popular art of 
profane narration. And for the time we are considering, such centers were presumably 
found only in the monasteries. Of. Modern Philology, VI, 101 f. 



.ested practically no power of either observation or invention. This 
was the work of monks. It was at heart not Germanic or Roman; 
it was curiously unracial. 

Now from the work of such monks as these no future can reason- 
ably be expected. First as last such work will consist of the dull 
multiplication of known facts. So the critic has felt himself justi- 
fied in dismissing all monks from his study of the living sources of 
mediaeval literature. The critic then turns to the scopas and the 
mimi: the former, he knows, continued a dignified line of literature 
marked by lofty epic idealism; 1 the latter, he knows, maintained an 
undignified line of expression marked by a vulgar but contagious 
realism. The critic but adds the two together and gains as his 
total the repertory and art of European mediaeval minstrelsy. Why 
not? In the left hand I have one apple, in the right hand one 
apple; I place the apples together; now how many apples have I? 

It is as easy as that. That is in a sense just the truth. There 
were two things separate, the two things united; but who united 
them? Who was it that took the stereotyped facts and figures of 
Germanic poetry, the stereotyped themes and tricks of lighter enter- 
tainment, and for the first known time in European history com- 
bined the two in a way that achieved variations of permanent influ- 
ence? To this question there can be but one answer; the answer 
is written large and clear in a hundred records. It was the monks. 

Variations of permanent influence in literature can be achieved 
only by writers with exceptional opportunities. Such opportunities 
in the ninth and tenth centuries lay in monastic culture and environ- 
ment ; they did not lie in the nature of things they could not lie at 
that time outside them. The moment these monks brought their 
inventive power, their significant ideas to bear upon their writings in 
such a way as to adjust them to the demands of contemporary thought 
and feeling, that moment we have no longer monastic copying of 
biblical and classical tradition, we have permanent mutations in 
literary expression 2 which yield : 

1 Although we should by no means believe this the only sort of literature cultivated 
by the scop; cf. supra p. 19. 

2 Cf . HosMns, "Biological Analogy hi Literary Criticism," Modern Philology, VI, 
420; Manly, "Literary Forms and the New Theory of the Origin of Species," Modern 
Philology, April, 1907. I believe the main results of these two investigations stand firm 
despite Logeman's irony; cf . his " Biologie en de Studie van Taal en Letteren " (reprint 
from Groot-Nederland, March, 1910), 27 ff. 



1. The novel Ruodlieb. 

2. The art-epic Waltharius. 

3. Legend quick with dialogue Roswitha. 

4. The short story Gesta Karoli of Notker. 

5. The beast-epic Ecbasis Captivi. 

6. Tableau and lyric Cambridge MS. 

7. Historical poems Ludwigslied, 

and a swelling list of satires and parodies, of hymns and sacred 
ballads even, which have laid aside their traditional adherence to 
an older art and breathe the life of their day. 1 

Let us consider, by way of illustration, what the sequence and 
the church hymn did for profane poetry: 

Occasionally, even in Carolingian poetry, we are surprised by a 
minstrel's quip (Uodalricus) , by a vernacular debate-poem showing 
through learned Latin guise (the conflictus sometimes ascribed to 
Alcuin), by cloistral adaptation of jesting tale and fable, 2 or best of 
all by some drinking-round like that of the Abbot of Angers. But 
it is safe enough to say that no matter how witty the treatment of 
the theme is in such cases, the poems themselves have practically 

1 It is little edifying to note how Kogel unconsciously agrees with Winterfeld in 
ascribing to the wandering minstrels (die Fahrenden) whatever note of simplicity or 
realism he discovers in tenth-century poetry. The poet of Christ and the Samaritan 
Woman (Mullenhoff-Scherer, Denkmaler, No. x) "knows how to relate his theme simply 
and graphically .... and shows contact with the minstrels"; the author of De Hein- 
rico (Denkmaler, No. xvlii) "is a cleric; but he has learned from the art of the minstrels 
and knows how to express himself concisely"; likewise did the poet of Kleriker und 
Nonne, Kogel thinks, have his theme from a minstrel. This is the old stupid formula: 
dull, verbose, incoherent = monk; witty, simple, graphic = minstrel. Will someone 
please tell me why? 

This formula has been proven wrong a great many tunes, never perhaps more strik- 
ingly than in the case of Waltharius, which I feel has been definitely shown to be, not a 
Latin rewriting of alliterative heroic songs, but the artistic and largely original work of a 
monk, Ekkehard I [composed ca. 930], whose source was a mere tale; cf. Wilhelm Meyer, 
"Der Dichter des Waltharius," Zeitschr. f. deut. Alt., XLIII, 113 ff; Strecker, "Prob- 
lemeinder Waltharius-Forschung," Ilbergs Neue Jahrbiicher(1899), 573 ff., 629 ff. The 
most recent attempt to revive Jacob Grimm's " Visigothic epic of Walter of Spain " is 
ingenious but unconvincing; cf. Mengndez Pidal, L'epopee castillane trad, de Mrimee 
(1910), 18fl. 

2 Ker's statement is succinct (Dark Ages, 199): "No literary work in the Dark 
Ages can be compared for the extent and far-reaching results of its influence with the 
development of popular Latin verse. The hymns went farther and affected a larger num- 
ber of people's minds than anything else in literature. They gave the impulse to fresh 
experiment which was so much needed by scholarly persons; provided new rules and a 
new ideal of expression for the unscholarly. Those who had no mind to sit down and 
compose an epithalamium in hexameters or a birthday epistle in elegiacs might still 
write poetry in Latin unclassical Latin, indeed, but not dull, not ungentle a language 
capable of melody in verse and impressiveness in diction." 



none of the lightness, grace, skill in versification, and suggestiveness 
which modern art demands and attains. We are almost sure to 
find Carolingian poetry far distant from modern ideas, close on the 
one hand to classical tradition, on the other to the Bible. Theodulf, 
poet-laureate to the Palace, sums up the matter neatly when he 


Te modo Virgilium, te modo Naso loquax: 
In quorum dictis quanquam sint frivola multa, 
Plurima sub falso tegmine vera latent, 

except that to Vergil and Ovid other classical models should be 
added, and the Bible as trusted source of all poetizing needed no 
comment by Theodulf. 

Nor, apparently, was the matter much improved in the poems of 
tenth-century authors who neglected the opportunity furnished them 
by the sequence and the hymn. For such songs as the admirabile 
Veneris idolum, the Jam dulcis arnica venito, the alba, and the Ode 
to a Nightingale lack each one that modern breath which is soon to 
move in poetry. The first two are lyrical survivals of the past and 
effective as they are no nearer the present manner than the 
Vigils of Venus; the last two are as unbending and stiff as early 
ecclesiasticism itself. But the Cambridge MS alone is sufficient evi- 
dence of the fact that, because of the framework given profane poets 
by the sequence and the hymn, because of the application of a new 
Latin to humble vernacular narratives of various kinds, by the end 
of the tenth century the history of modern poetry is begun. For 
this MS contains at least one beautiful lyric, the Lew's .exsurgit 
zephyrus, which is as " unmediaeval " as any modern poem; several 
extremely clever fableaux, two of them gaining inimitable parody 
from their employment of the sequence-form, 1 others using the broad 
effectiveness of a five-syllabled popular line; and one or more songs 
which are as if made for tavern-entertainment, like the Johannes 
abba parvidus. Other evidences such as the ballad of the wicked 
dancers of Kolbigk, the love-message in Ruodlieb, and songs and 
hints of songs I have here no space to mention 2 these things inform 

1 The leich is a direct descendant of the sequence, dactyls and all, but with rhyme 
added; cf. Lachmann, Kleinere Schriften, I, 334. 

2 For further study of the material here spoken of, see Modern Philology, V, 423 fl.; 
VI, 3fl., 137 fit., 340 fl. 



us clearly that the monks and the monastic schools had given Europe 
the four prerequisites for a body of splendid "modern" poetry: 

1. The artist with imagination and training. 

2. The desire to portray real life in art. 

3. Models which the unscholarly could amplify. 

4. An audience eager for the author's work. 

And yet and yet Winterfeld contends that only through the 
continued existence of the mimus may we understand the develop- 
ment of the centuries. Why, where is now his mimus vanished? 
Surely, if, when the culture of the ninth century cherished in the 
monastic schools was lighting the way to the modern art of profane 
narration, there existed a solitary descendant of the old Italian 
vaudeville-performer in Germany; then just so surely do we know 
what this mimus was doing. He was mouthing, dancing, squawk- 
ing, playing on some strange instrument, eating fire, swallowing a 
sword, engaging in lascivious pantomine with an unclothed mima, 
juggling with gilt balls, playing the stupid, bragging absurdly, taking 
off his audience, pounding somebody's head with a make-believe 
club, balancing a table on his chin, or doing some other thing equally 
as delightful, some thing for which we moderns seem much in his 
debt witness our joy in present-day circuses and "continuous per- 
formances." But I feel quite sure this mimus of the Dark Ages 
was sublimely unconscious he would ever be called upon to father 
the mediaeval jongleur and spielmann. 

Nor can we avoid the issue by believing the minstrel of the 
ninth century to be not the old Italian vaudeville-performer, but a 
metamorphosis of him. At times I suspect Wilhelm Scherer. When 
he says that "der spielmann ist eine metamorphose des romischen 
mimus" 1 I want to know when the change took place, why it took 
place, who established it, how it happened, what was the result. 
And of this Scherer says not one word. 2 

1 Geschichte der deutschen Dichtung im xi. und xii. Jahrhundert, 11; Geschichte der 
deiUschen Literatur, 60. 

2 1 am reminded by Scherer's oracular phrase of a classroom dialogue overheard by 
me some years ago: 

Professor: The German empire is a schoolmaster's dream. 

Student: But I thought it the creation of Bismarck. 

Professor: Bismarck was a schoolmaster. 

Now I had thought that Roman mimus was Roman mimus, and am no less surprised to 
discover him "metamorphosed" by a wave of the hand into German spielmann than was 
another poor student to discover that his Iron Chancellor had become a pedagogue. 



The point is the following: In the ninth and tenth centuries such 
a modification appears in European literature that we have begun 
to leave the Dark Ages behind and are coming to the threshold of 
the modern world. This is indeed a metamorphosis. 

We can ascribe the change to causes unknown to us and make 
up a picture to please our idle whim, or we can seek and find the 
reason for the change in certain definitely known facts. I prefer 
the latter course. 

"Notker und Hrotsvit verdanken ihr bestes dem mimus," says 
Winterfeld. I should put it differently and say that when these 
artists depart from an over-ornamented style and the traditional 
method which their day used for recording facts and themes, then 
they owed this " best " neither to a mime nor to any model of their 
own time, but to themselves. It was possible to be one's self in 
prose and poetry before the year 1000, though it must be admitted 
the deed seems to have been hard of accomplishment. The greatest 
service Ker has done the Latin authors of the Dark Ages is the 
emphasis of this important fact. Here and there in the hisperic 
weaving of early Latin literature Ker has found threads of a color 
so bright, so near to the hues of everyday life, that there seems to 
be nothing "dark" or "mediaeval" about them. Before Notker 
ever wrote his Gesta Karoli, Gregory of Tours had told of things 
"that might go straight into a ballad," Gregory the Great had pro- 
vided great treasure of vivid legend in his Dialogues, Ermoldus had so 
pictured a siege of Barcelona that it was instinct with dramatic truth. 

When we read Notker we know what we shall find a struggling 
poet, narrow in view, awkward in performance, incoherent in state- 
ment. He lacks a hundred things that modern art is heir to. He 
does not care to, or he cannot, throw off the shackles of his day. 
But therefore to imagine that in some happy moment of self-forget- 
fulness he could not depart from his conventional pose and hold 
us by the simple force of realistic portrayal unless he purloined his 
portrayal from a mime that is to imagine the ninth century as 
wide and empty as the Hell of Wettin; that is to make of the great 
monastery of St. Gall a leaden ark. 1 

1 1 wonder would Winterfeld have ascribed to a mime the verses of a monk writing in 
his cell (St. Gall MS, ninth century): " The woodland meadow incloses me, the song of 



Fable, fairy-tale, fableau, storiette 

From the ninth century on there existed in Germany a great 
many fables and stories and droll tales which were widely dissemi- 
nated and very popular. These short narratives are of two sorts: 
(1) those which are evidently German in origin and workmanship, 
so far as we may judge by their scenes and motives; (2) those which 
are perhaps of oriental lineage because they seem to derive from or 
be kin to themes in the older literature of the South and East. 1 

For the first sort no explanation is needed they are quite simply 
the work of monks and clerks and minstrels who invented them or 
who gave them literary form. But for the second sort a problem 
is felt to exist. Oriental tales in Europe two centuries before the 
first crusade are feb to be an anachronism. Led astray, therefore, 
by the romantic suspicion that the ninth century was unlettered, 
untraveled, and uncreative tormented by their inability to explain 
the presence of oriental tales and fables in Germany long before any 
well-known route of immigration is open critics have succumbed. 
They have either assumed a more constant and direct line of trans- 
mission between East and West than other evidences seemed to 
warrant such as one due to the Byzantine alliances of the Ottos 
or they have clutched at the Italian mimus to stop the gap between, 
say, the Carolingian renaissance and the period of chivalry. 

The Italian entertainer may be directly and indirectly responsible 
for a few of the tales and legends that were current in ninth-century 
Germany. We know that the great pageants (circenses) continued 
in Italy until late in the migration period at least, and Glock is 
right in assuming that "the shout which a famished multitude in 

the blackbirds echoes in my ears as I sit at my parchment .... from the tree-summits the 
cuckoo in his gray cowl calls to me with clear voice. Oh, in truth, 'tis goodly writing here 
under the forest's roof! " (Kuno Meyer, Kultur der Gegenwart, I, xi, 1 [1909] p. 81.) 

Here we find a tonsured monk pausing a moment in his appointed task of multi- 
plying sacred texts dull business! to speak simply of the world beneath his grated 
window. Formal diction based upon classical tradition and biblical imagery is left 
aside, and for a few human breaths a man is writing as he feels. No descendant of an 
Italian vaudeville-performer is in his mind or by him as he writes we may be sure of 
this. And not every ninth-century monk was a Johannes Talpa of Beargarden (for the 
writings of which worthy cf. MS Bibl. nat., fonds ping. K. L. 8 , 12390 quater or if this 
cannot be found, Anatole France, L'ile des pingouins, Book III, chap. iv). 

1 Cf. Kogel Gesch. d. deut. Lit. I, ii, 192 ff . and the quotation there made from Wilamo- 
witz' introduction to his Hippolytos. 



ancient Rome joined to the one for bread then sounded forth not 
less loud from the lips of immigrant Germans." But the more 
interested the German in the mimus, the sooner would he learn his 
trick from him. Even if the German had no realistic poetry before 
he went to Rome, it would not be long before the rote of it was 
learned and transplanted deep into the heart of Germany. Thus, 
even if the original impulse in any instance came from without, it 
would be, I think, as early as the fifth or sixth century 1 that German 
poets and their audiences had long forgotten how certain very 
popular themes came from a foreign source. History teaches us 
constantly how short a span it takes for the naturalization of ex- 
traneous material. 

There is, however, no positive knowledge in our possession that 
such oriental cognates as we find in the short narratives in Germany 
from the ninth century on were ever appropriated by Italian mimes. 
These narratives fables, fairy-tales, fableaux, storiettes, and legends 
are, generally speaking, not the type of thing which the mimes 
would use to amuse barbarian crowds. It must never be forgotten 
that the mimus is made by Reich, Winterfeld, and Heyne the agent 
of transmission solely to suit their convenience, and not because of 
any evidence which they can discover. The mimus has been 
" clutched at " as is a straw by one drowning. 

I can explain to my thorough satisfaction the presence of any 
shorter narrative in ninth-century Germany with never a thought of 
mimus. Two great lines of direct connection between East and 
West at this period are known: books and monasteries. 

Anthologies, MSS of excerpts and exempla, collections of apo- 
logues and facetiae and tales, the profaner parts of sacred legends and 
saints' lives, stirring homilies and dramatic sermons, books like the 
Vitae patrum 2 here we have the broad and unfailing river of tradi- 
tion which flowed from the past into the Dark Ages. The monks 
knew of these things, but there the matter might have rested, had 
it not been for the great institutions in which they dwelt. 

1 The story of the withered arm of King Miro's mimus may be a case in point. The 
occurrence (A.D. 589?) is told not by the mimus but of him and evidently by one who dis- 
likes him, perhaps a Prankish minstrel; cf. Modern Philology, VI, 402. 

2 Many another poem may have found its theme herein as did the satire on Little John 
the Monk; cf. Zeitschr.f. deut. Alt., XIV, 469; Winterfeld, Stilfragen, 21; Allen, Modern 
Philology, V, 468. 



Reichenau, Fulda, Tegernsee, St. Gall, Gandersheim, and Weissen- 
burg these are but the greatest of the many places in which monk 
lived with lay-brother, clerk, and student. Now the monastery 
was not only the house of a religious order, not only a church. It 
was a school, a university, an inn, a house of refuge, a place of 
pilgrimage, a hospital, a conservatory of music, a library, a center of 
culture, and a social focus. So men of every sort came to pass 
through its walls, to remain a while within them. It housed sovereign 
and Jew, peddler and soldier, poet and minstrel, artisan and artist, 
the great man 'on embassy of state, the humble monk back from a 
far journey. 

In the stir and bustle of this Temple of the Muses, in the sparks 
which inevitably come from the friction of awakened minds, 1 in 
imaginations quickened to the facts of life by such companionship 
with books of the past and men of the present here should I seek 
the reason for what would seem to have been a new-fashioned 
literary realism, and not in the repertory of isolated bands of Italian 
vaudeville-artists. We need wait for such realism only until the 
poet comes. And such a one was Notker Balbulus. 

Notker was the genius of St. Gall, and he lived in the ninth cen- 
tury. These two facts, it seems, to me, explain the whole body of 
his literary effort. Being the genius of St. Gall, he outstripped all 
men of his day in writing sequences, he told in a droll way the tales 
of Eishere, of the Goblin and the Farrier, of the Bishop and the 
Jew, he wrote fables like the Three Brothers and the Goat, the Flea 
and the Podagra. All this shows that he saw life at times simply, 
allowed his Swabian humor to enter an occasional story and gild it, 
had an eye for the value of terse and dramatic treatment of popular 
themes, and was possessed of much sense and feeling. 

1 The story of the greatness of St. Gall is told in Ekkehard IV's Casua S. Galli; 
see Schubinger, Die Sangerschule St. Gallens (1858); Winterfeld, Ilbergs Neue Jahrbilcher, 
V, 350 ft.; and Gautier, La poesie liturgique. It goes without saying that the aesthetic 
culture which characterized some of the courts of the more important episcopal prelates 
in the tenth century was the direct fruit of monastic culture. For the new expressions 
in art and literature which an awakened social activity found in the valley of the Loire 
toward the end of the tenth century, cf. Warren's suggestive sketch of society under 
Robert the Pious (987-1031) and the many sources of information which he cites (Publ. 
Mod. Lang. Assn. of America, XVII, [1909], "Proceedings," xlviii ff.). It is not without 
a feeling of amazement that we learn of the existence at this time in French territory of 
five hundred abbeys and ecclesiae collegiatae, many of which were centers of the new 
light; cf. Lot, Etudes sur le regne de Hugues Capet et la fin du X siecle (1903), 427-42. 



But living as he did in the ninth century, Notker was often prone 
to follow traditional methods in his writing at such a moment the 
worst traits of the pedant and the cloister-schoolmaster shone forth 
from him; he was crude, unbending, artificial. He was unwittingly 
poor monk! paying toll to his age. So did Chaucer in stupid 

Notker the ninth-century monk Winterfeld believes requires no 
explanation. Notker the genius of St. Gall except for the sequences 
Winterfeld calls mimus. He says: 

The fable has ever been cousin-german to the mimus. 1 The main 
point, however, is that all the preachers and collectors of exempla are 
pupils of the mimus, 2 for they surely recognized the effective element in 
the mimus 3 and because they could not do away with his influence* they 
at least made use of it. It is a sign of Notker's greatness that he was 
the first artistic poet of the Middle Ages to weld together with instinctive 
sureness the mimus and artistic poetry. 5 But while Notker only borrows 
for his purpose the mimic novelette 6 Koswitha does the same thing with 
the drama. 7 Then came the time when the mimus 8 repaid Notker for 
making him again a literary possibility. The mimus 9 with his sure 
feeling for what was enduring in artistic poetry took possession of the 
sequence-form which artistic poetry had created. 

It is possible that in my footnotes to this quotation of Winterfeld's 
I have not entirely got at his meaning but I have at least shown 
how preposterous a list of things he attaches to the one concept 
mimus in a few sentences. I should rewrite his quotation as follows: 

The fable has ever been a popular form of expression among illiterate 
peoples. Early mediaeval preachers found most effective to illustrate 
their points and hold the attention of their audience these fables and 
short popular tales, so they made use of them. Notker is the first real 

1 Winterfeld here must mean by mimus "realistic poetry," unless he thinks fable 
and recited mimus related. 

2 Mimus here evidently = an Italian teller of stories. 

* Mimus here=the Italian's repertory. 
4 The Italian teller of stories again. 

1 Mimus here = realism, realistic art, real life itself, as an antithesis to artistic 

6 Mimiache novelle here=the novelette whose theme Reich derives from mimic 
drama, like the Golden Asa of Apuleius. 

7 Roswitha does not. In one place she is said to have her theme from a heathen 
martyr mimus, in another place from the Vitae patrum. 

8 This time a minstrel who sang. 

A minstrel. 



poet we know of who gave such popular tales artistic form. Roswitha 
did the same sort of thing in a legend or two, but never in her dramas. 
Once Notker had shown how the sequence (text and music) added 
unsuspected richness to the church-service, other poets adopted the same 
form when writing of profane matters. 

In all of Notker as we know him, in anything that has ever been 
ascribed to him, we find no reference to, no reminiscence of, Italian 
vaudeville or entertainers. Once in a while for all too short a 
moment Swabian Notker succeeds in being simple, warm, true, or 
funny. That is all. 



Ruodlieb is often called the first novel in European literature, 
and novel in a certain sense it is, for it gives us a picture of the 
social life of its time. 1 But so far as its structure is concerned it 
is no novel, but a collection of novelistic episodes loosely strung 

1 An ancient creed to which we unthinkingly subscribe is that courtly and artistic 
expression sprung from the life of a time later than that of this novel, from a new order of 
things which appeared in twelfth-century Europe. Cf . for instance Langlois, Origines et 
source du Roman de la rose, p. 2: "This courtly literature should be born in the twelfth 
century. At this epoch woman began to take rank in the society of northern France. 
She emerges from the isolation to which she has long been abandoned; she finds an 
environment in which she can exercise the sway of her charm, one which her finer and 
more delicate spirit inspires with new sentiments. A courtly intercourse is established 
between persons of the opposite sex." 

I have no quarrel with Langlois's words, for it is true that a revolution in European 
poetry did follow the change in the social life of the people in the twelfth century. And 
yet what is there in the social life of the eleventh century, a* we generally understand it, 
which would prepare us for the courtly element in Ruodlieb ? Scherer says truly: "Loud 
laughter is already proscribed; a moderate merriment and gentle smiles are demanded 
of women by etiquette. Good breeding is denoted in the very manner of their bearing. 
The majesty of woman is felt at least aesthetically and expressed in a simile which often 
recurs in later German poetry: a woman in the flower of her youth is like the moon; 
a girl approaching is like the rising of the shining moon." 

"And humane sentiment, the source of which lies always in a respect for women, 
makes itself felt repeatedly throughout the poem; the cruelty of the tenth century is gone. 
The judge shows himself merciful to the fallen but repentant woman. The victor 
in battle spares the conquered foe. Victory alone is honor enough; be a lion in the fight 
but a lamb in revenge; small honor attaches to him who avenges a suffered wrong; 
revenge in its truest sense is to subdue one's wrath. Men begin to grow modest and to 
use their power scrupulously; the king of Africa accepts but little of the gift which the 
conquered enemy offers him; our hero wins unwillingly at chess. Hospitality and benevo- 
lence are virtues highly to be praised. Widows and orphans receive the fullest tribute 
of sympathy, and it is a knightly duty to protect them. Tender affection for one's family, 
an intimate relationship between parents and children, these are the true signs of good 

What truer testimony do we wish, to know that the conditions of the eleventh cen- 
tury are scarcely as we have dreamed them to be? 



together on the name and not the personality of its hero it is a 
mediaeval Wilhelm Meister. 

With the courtly element in Ruodlieb I shall not deal. But I 
desire to emphasize it at the beginning, to show how much of the 
novel is based upon the real observation of its author, and therefore 
owes nothing to Winterf eld's omnipresent "mimus." 

The problem of the popular element in Ruodlieb of that part of 
it wherein the most incongrous novelistic materials are gathered but 
not welded together: fableau, storiette, legend is no different from 
the problem involved in the preceding section, I. We find a monk 
like Notker or Ekkehard I at work incorporating in the best artistic 
form he could the humbler literature which the books and the oral 
tradition of his time gave him. The materials of the novel which 
Winterfeld would have revert to mimus are the following: 

1. Three merchants murdered in a notorious inn. 

2. The dog who unerringly recognizes a thief. 

3. The trained bears. 

4. The hero's skill with the harp. 

5. The exchange of identity between young lovers. 

6. The dance of this young couple. 

7. The adultery of Red Pate and ,a young wife. 

With 5 and 6 I need not pause, for Winterfeld's contention regard- 
ing them is too weak to require refutal. 1 No. 7 he derives straight 
from an adultery-mimus as played in Rome. The scene in Ruodlieb 
where Red Pate blusters and threatens to break in the door does 
not come, we are told, from either Plautus or Terence (cf. the scenes 
of Thraso in the Eunuch), "for in these sources, as in the Greek come- 
dies from which they borrowed, the inviolability of the married 
woman is respected." But in the mimic drama it is just the married 
woman to whom the spruce seducer (cultus adulter) makes his 
advances. If the wife will but grant Red Pate her favors, he promises 

1 No. 5 Winterfeld derives from mimus only because it has a remote analogy with a 
passage in Gottfried von Strassburg's Tristan und Isolde, whose French sources are some- 
what indebted to tableaux and Achilles Tatius, and with an episode in Shakespeare's 
Cymbeline (which Reich calls "an old mimus"). No. 6 (ille velut falcho se gyrat, et haee 
ut hirundo) Winterfeld believes to be a "mimic animal-dance" like those cited by Reich, 
Vol. I, 476 flf. Even if Ferdinand Wolf were right and he is not in presuming that 
in the tenth century beast-fables were given "mimic portrayal" in the cloisters (Ueber 
die Lais, Sequenzen und Leiche, 238 f.), I can see no connection between the dance of our 
young couple and those of Roman paegnion. 



her a fine, brisk lover: "I know the young sprig for you one just 
tall enough, with yellow locks, slim and graceful, with red cheeks 
and bright eyes." This, we are told, is the typical walking juvenile 
of mimic story. The Red Pate, it seems, "is thus playing the added 
role of go-between (cata carissa, procuress) so common in dramatic 
and recited mimus. The shamelessness of the amorous dalliance 
indulged in also smacks of mimic repertory, so does the knot-hole 
(in mimic performances a broken wall) through which the old hus- 
band spies upon the matter." 

I confess that these so-called resemblances between No. 7 and 
the Roman mimus tend to discourage me with Winterfeld. A knot- 
hole in Ruodlieb is no more a broken wall from Rome than is the 
crack in the partition through which Roswitha's maidens view 
Dulcitius. We cannot credit the " mimic drama " with all the eaves- 
dropping devices of modern drama and story: holes, cracks, hedges, 
practicable rocks, trees. And as to cultus adulter, cata carissa, the 
walking juvenile, and amorous dalliance there is nothing discover- 
ably "mimic" here. What the author of Ruodlieb had before him 
as source if any source was there is nothing more than one of 
the thousand dorfgeschichten of his day: 

A dishonest soldier of fortune the red hair is a symbol to the 
mediaeval mind came storming and blustering up to the house where 
he had heard a young wife dwelt with an old husband. This poor rustic 
beauty, sullen over her mismated condition, gladly lent herself to the 
deception that the braggart was near kin to her, and when promised a 
fine young lover readily granted her person to the intruder. Red Pate 
carries matters shamelessly and finally murders the protesting husband. 
He and his paramour are brought to the scaffold, where the broken 
woman confesses all, is released on the intercession of her stepsons, and 
goes home to lead a life of expiation for her crime. 

Why speak of Thraso and archmimus? The red-pate blusters and 
pretends to cousinship, that he may put his affair through with a 
high hand. Why speak of the inviolate marriage-bed of Greek 
comedy? The wife in Ruodlieb is quite in role with all the mal 
mariees of popular tradition in mediaeval Europe. Why assign the 
best portrayal of low life in Germany before Meier Helmbrecht to a 
"mimic" original? For no honest reason that I can discover. 

I regret the length of my occupation with this single theme, but 



as it is I have barely escaped the temptation to show how favorite a 
theme the seduction-remorse story was in mediaeval comedy and 
f ableau which by no manner of reasoning can be derived from Roman 
mimus. As for Winterfeld's contention regarding the four other 
themes, it does not hold water. The hero who is skilful with the 
harp is in many a spielmannsepos Rother, for instance. The 
trained bears and the intelligent dog are commonplaces in the 
eleventh century, as in every other before or since. They smack of 
the wandering minstrels, it is true, but there is nothing in their 
description which suggests that the descendants of Roman mimi 
were abroad in Germany after the first millennium of the Christian 
era. The three merchants murdered in an inn is a story which 
appears in many places, as Seiler has industriously shown. Now 
this is all as we should expect; it accords with what we know from 
many a source outside of Ruodlieb: viz., that humble and popular 
forms of entertainment and story existed in Europe during the last 
of the Dark Ages at least, for they were at that time set forth in 
conscious and artistic poetry and prose. But it does not mean that 
all the types of Roman mimus and performers of mimus endured 
across the migration period and gave the impulse for every sort of 
modern realism. 

I do not know from where the thousand themes came which 
enriched the literature of the Middle Ages, nor need I know. I 
readily grant that some of them were ever on the way northward 
from Rome. The trained bears, I confess, may have had remote 
ancestors in the circenses in Rome, so may their trainer. But this 
is not the question at issue. The question is, was there a continuous 
tradition in Germany from fourth century to eleventh 1 of Roman 

1 Winterfeld makes much of the fact that a passage from Sextus Amarcius (chap, i, 
403-43) tells how the people from villages in the neighborhood and from the country- 
roads stream in to hear a mimus sing to the accompaniment of a zither several Latin 
songs, one of which deals with the subtle theory of Pythagoras. He urges that this is 
sufficient evidence that the whole interest of the villagers lay in the music. True enough 
although he might have added that yokels find interest in anything out of the usual 
run if it costs them nothing and in this case the fine gentleman dining at the inn paid 
for the mimus. Nothing in Amarcius tells us that the bystanders stayed long to listen. 
They may have crowded up expectant of magic or an obscene tale in German, and 
dwindled away before their disappointment. 

Winterfeld would account for the propagation of Latin songs in unbroken conti- 
nuity from early migration times in Europe until the middle of the eleventh century by 
saying that their musical settings won a constant welcome for them even in ages and at 
places where people could not understand the texts. This might, I suppose, account 



mimic types and artists, but for whom mediaeval living poetry and 
prose would not have been born. And I say at this point, that so 
far as we may judge by the records already studied: no. 


Legend and Drama 

As Winterf eld's edition of Roswitha's works 1 is the result of 
eleven years of labor, and as he allows no possible analogy to the 
mimus to escape him, 2 I shall content myself with studying the 
matter of her indebtedness to Italian vaudeville and performer along 
the lines which he has blazed. 

The first legend in which Roswitha shows that she possesses 
humor, according to Winterfeld, is her Gongolf. It contains an 
episode which pictures a "three-haired" simpleton licking up the 
sand in his search for the lost spring: 

185 Cumque lacum peteret fundumque siti reprobaret, 3 

Qui quondam validis luxuriavit aquis, 
Usque solum stratus, vacua spe non bene lusus, 
Coepit arenosa lingere nempe loca, 

190 Temptans, exiguam posset si lambere guttam; 
Sed nee praesiccam tinxerat hinc ligulam. 

Now it is true that in paegnion the mimus was often bald, and 
equally true that our simpleton resembles the mimus in this one 
respect almost to a hair, but I should not care to base Roswitha's 
dependence upon Roman vaudeville on so scant a foundation. 
Winterfeld says that Roswitha's fool is the real type of mimic 
stupidus, and so he is, but only as a million other fools have been. 
There is no trait or act of this fellow which would identify him as a 

for the perpetuation of a very few musical settings though it is hard to believe even 
they could be carried across so many centuries of distress and change but it could not 
account for such texts as those of the Cambridge MS, for instance, two of which this very 
minstrel of Amarcius sings. 

No, Amarcius' jocatur is not the eleventh-century descendant of an Italian mimus, 
unless he is that rara avis, a white blackbird. He is a spielmann with a varied store of 
goods, like Der Marner, who had Latin songs of his own to sing for the asking; cf. Modern 
Philology, VI, 400. 

1 Hrotsvithae opera (1902). 

2 "Und froh ist wenn er Regenwiirmer findet," like the man of whom Faust speaks. 
It is such scholastic seriousness which gives much point to Wackernagel's " Die Hiindchen 
von Bretzwil und von Bretten," Kleinere Schriften, I (1872), 423 ff. and to a French abbe's 
derivation of Napoleon from Apollo (Baring-Gould, Curious Myths of the Middle Ages). 

* Strecker emends 185 to sitire (i.e., arere) probavit. 



particular type of simpleton and make him definite blood-kin of the 
mimic fool. 

Winterfeld goes on to say that this tale of the lost spring lives in 
Hessian territory today, 1 but "hardly without the co-operation of 
the mimes." I object to this phrase. It is decorative bye- work 
and should be expunged from the record. I can make the same 
statement with equal right of the Grimm legends which rest on an 
old basis, and my statement would mean as much as Winterfeld's 
which is nothing at all. I can thread my leisurely way through 
Rabelais, say, and wherever I find a fool of the numskull order, one 
whose typically thick pate the great Frenchman so loved to belabor, 
I can say: "er ist der echte typus des mimischen stupidus," but 
that would not be proving any necessary connection between Rabe- 
lais's clown and Roman paegnion. 

Roswitha took the theme for her Basilius-legend from the Vitae 
patrum, a book which contained a vast deal of narrative material 
which the Dark ages found entertaining, a book which long furnished, 
says Winterfeld, "mimes and story-tellers with subjects." A little 
farther on Winterfeld again uses the word mimus to characterize 
the author of a minstrel-leich (late tenth or early eleventh century) 
whose theme somewhat resembles that of Roswitha's legend, and 
which was therefore also presumably borrowed from the Vitae. 

There is no argument here. The Vitae patrum had a great grist 
of good story-plots in it minstrels borrowed them, so apparently 
once did Roswitha. One minstrel-leich is somewhat similar in tone 
to one of Roswitha's legends. Ergo, Roswitha's source is mimus. 
It does not seem possible that this is all the meat of Winterfeld's 
argument, but it is. I shall not even ask my reader what he thinks 
of such work. 2 So much for her legends in narrative form. 

1 Wolf, Hessische Sagen, No. 208; Lyncker, Deutsche Sagen und Sitten in hessischen 
Gauen gesarnmelt, No. 121. 

* At this point Winterfeld inserts a discussion of the similarity between the legend 
of Venantius Fortunatus dealing with Bishop Gennanus (died 576) and a novelette 
of Apuleius. There is no reason why we should doubt Venantius' obligation in this 
matter, but why should a sixth-century Italian poet not have known his Apuleius? 
Surely this does not speak for a Roman mimus. "But," says Reich, "Apuleius got 
much of his material from mimi" (Der Mimus, I, 35; Reich's second volume, he an- 
nounces, will deal with the indebtedness to mimus of satire, novel, story, and epistle) . 
Even then, it was still from a literary source that Venantius got his theme and not from 
direct contact in the Merovingian realm with a mimus. But suppose Venantius did 



Roswitha's so-called dramas are of course nothing but legends in 
crude dialogue-form. Terence, to whom she refers in a famous 
passage, meant only one thing to her : dramatic dialogue. To realize 
how little she understood Roman comedy, how far she missed its 
meaning and its art, one has but to read Roswitha's legends in 
dialogue-form. In what follows I shall refer to these productions 
as " dramas " to prevent misconception of my argument, but dramas 
they are not, nor dramatic sketches, and it is not the nature of 
their subjects which prevented their being acted by nuns, or, as 
one genial critic has suggested, by the mimi mimi in the Harz ' 
Mountains! but the nature of their substance. If Sapientia was 
ever staged, then were Rollo and His Uncle and Sanford and Merton. 
If my reader consider it a quibble to insist Roswitha's dialogues 
were not dramas, let me inform him that Winterfeld twice speaks 
of Roswitha and Shakespeare as one speaks of two members of the 
same family, 1 and once compares her with Goethe. 

get the theme in this latter way, I should scarcely argue that what was the case with the 
last great writer of Silver Latinity in the sixth century was in any sense the case with 
a Gandersheim nun in the tenth. 

1 Scherer says: "She had the eye for stage-effects, for telling theatrical themes. 
Many a species of later drama finds in her its prototype. GaUicanus, for example, is a 
historical tragedy, Dulcitius verges upon farce, Abraham would seem to pave the way for 
bourgeois drama, Callimachus gives us a love-tragedy with the oddest similarity to Shake- 
speare's Romeo and Juliet." Such statements are most misleading, as we discover when we 
find for instance that the final scene in Callimachus, where the protagonist is only with- 
held from an unnatural crime upon the dead body of Drusiana by divine interposition, 
"reminds one of the grave-scene in Shakespeare's play"; when we discover what is the 
sequence of events in Sapientia, the doublet of Dulcitius. I choose this piece, because 
it illustrates to the best advantage the truth that Roswitha's so-called plays are only 
legends in dialogue. "Her dialogue is lively," says Scherer, "her speeches are never too 
long, she often knows how to build her scenes cleverly." When the emperor Hadrian 
asks the mother how old her children are, she propounds him a riddle in arithmetic which 
consumes at least ten minutes and is more difficult than its modern derivative: "How 
old is Ann?" It develops that Fides is 12, Spes 10, and Caritas 8. Then the "action" 
proceeds. Fides, who will not renounce her faith, is lashed till her flesh hangs in strips, 
but it doesn't matter; her breasts are cut off, but the blood doesn't flow; she is put into 
a kettle of flaming pitch, but somehow it doesn't hurt. Then the emperor grows weary 
and hews off her head. Likewise Spes, who will not renounce her hope. Likewise 
Caritas, who insists on preserving her charity at all hazards. Is this drama? Even if 
we relegate to "action off stage" the heating of the kettle which consumes three days 
and three nights and the overflowing of the kettle which kills five thousand people? 
No, it is legend such as we find persevering with an obstinacy worthy of a better cause 
until the fifteenth century at least. An early exemplar is the tale of the martyrdom of 
St. George (Mullenhoff-Scherer, Denkmaler, No. xvii; Zarncke, Berichte der sachsischen 
Gesellschafl [1874], 1 ff.; Scherer, Zeitschr. f. deut. Alt., XIX, 104 ff.; Seemuller, "Studie 
zu den Urspriingen der altdeutschen Historiographie," Festgabe fur Heinzel [1898], 
311 ff.) which, to the few fragments preserved to us, puts St. George through the follow- 
ing sample tests: He is bound, broken on the wheel, torn into ten pieces, but he goes 



Callimachus Winterfeld dismisses with the phrase: "hier ist fur 
den mimus nichts zu holen," but he dwells the longer with Dulcitius. 
In an earlier essay 1 I suggested that the pots-and-pans scene from 
this drama reminds the reader of a fableau (schwank), ignorant at 
the moment that Winterfeld discovered in it a remarkable analogy 
to the episode in Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream where the 
queen of the elves, struck with blindness, like that of Dulcitius when 
he would visit the captive maidens, caresses the donkey-headed 
weaver. I still prefer my suggestion of a fableau as presumable 
source for Roswitha, and do not connect the scene with Titania on 
the one hand, or on the other with Apuleius' Golden Ass and so 
with the Roman mimic drama, as does Winterfeld, simply because 
Dulcitius is divinely overcome. 

But not alone in this burlesque scene does Winterfeld seek an 
analogy for Dulcitius in the mimus. This and another martyr- 
legend in dialogue-form Winterfeld believes may revert to pagan 
martyr-mimes such as those mentioned by Reich 2 in connection with 
Genesius. I quote Winterf eld's statement: 

Such a mimus, I think, Roswitha may well have known. If not this 
Genesius mimus, then another one. Should she, however, have written 
her martyr-drama without such a prototype, then her dramatic genius 
appears only the greater. If no outward, direct connection with the 
martyr-mimus exists, then Roswitha has of herself created what before 
her and after her the mimus created. The material is, of course, not so 
constituted that we can decide from a single instance. 

This statement is so disingenuous, so hides the points at issue, that 
it is difficult to believe an attempt has not been wilfully made to 
mislead us. There is no similarity whatever in theme, purpose, 
treatment, or appeal between Roswitha's dialogue-legends and the 
Genesius-mimus, or any other " christologic " mimus which Reich's 
unfettered imagination can shape from nebulae. 

Roswitha was no "dramatic genius." If she had had even the 

on preaching. He is pulverized, cremated, his ashes are thrown into a well, great boul- 
ders heaped upon it, but he goes on preaching. This legend of St. George, although 
it does remind us of the poem "And the barber went on shaving," I do not regard as 
a parody by a spielmann on a religious theme; I think it is a "dramatic legend" if its 
author had read Terence as Roswitha did, hejnight have "dramatized" it; which, being 
translated, means only set it to dialogue. 

1 Of. Modem Philology, III, 431. 

2 Der Mimui, I, 87 f., 566. 



glimmerings of that creative ability with which Winterfeld and 
other critics invest her, she would have understood Terence and given 
us some sort of play. She not only could not write a drama, she 
did not think of doing so. She wanted to give vivacity and life to 
the old style of legend, and she succeeded a little. What subject 
would be nearer her heart than the story of how God in his omnipo- 
tence overcame all the wiles of the devil and led trusting and tender 
maidens straight to him, without spot and without blemish? 

The Genesius-mimus is exactly the kind of thing we might expect : 
ethnologia: character portrayal. An archmimus in the very act of 
blaspheming against the Christian life and believers is convicted of 
God and becomes stout in his new faith. 

If we could trace the slightest resemblance of theme or diction 
between Roswitha's work and the Genesius-mimus, as critics think 
they can between the latter and a fifteenth-century Genesius- 
mystery play, 1 then the question would assume a different aspect. 
But we cannot. 

The material for her Abraham Roswitha derives in part from the 
Vitae patrum. What we have said above regarding such borrowing 
need not be repeated. 2 But it seems that in connection with just 
such an elopement as that of Roswitha's Maria, Jerome cites a living 
instance in his letters to Eustochius and Sabellianus. He writes: 
"repertum est f acinus, quod nee mimus fingere, nee scurra ludere, 
nee atellanus possit effari" such impudence surpasses the fictions 
of the mimes. Such themes of elopement and remorse were naturally 
warm favorites with the mimi. It is interesting to note our nun 
calmly choosing from the whole repertory of legends at her disposal 
a story of this realistic kind. But these facts bespeak no indebted- 
ness on Roswitha's part to Roman mimus. Nor does her obligation 
in Paphnutius, the other conversion-legend and doublet of Abraham, 
to the Vitae patrum establish any connection with mimus. 3 

1 Edd. Mostert-Stengel; cf. von der Lage, Studien zur Genesiuslegende (1898 f.). 

2 Cf. supra, p. 40. 

1 Gottfried Keller uses the same legend in his "Legende von dem schlimmheiligen 
Vitalis," remarking that it seemed as though in this theme "not only the ecclesiastical 
story-teller's art is manifest, but also traces of an earlier, more profane manner of narra- 
tion." Winterfeld agrees that there is a good deal of worldly narrative-art in this legend, 
"or as we should say nowadays, a good bit of mimus, whether we were thinking at the 
time of dramatic mimus, or recited mimus, the story." For the moment mimus is mean- 
ing to Winterfeld iceltliche fabulierkuntt, novelle. 



Winterfeld now pauses to compare Roswitha with Goethe, who 
in his Gotz von Berlichingen " instinctively started as she did with 
mimus." The chameleon- word mimus we find in this place, how- 
ever, does not mean a legend from the Vitae patrum, nor yet a 
novelette from Apuleius, but the puppet-theater. Since there is no 
claim for the marionette-play made by Winterfeld in connection 
with Roswitha's dramas, we need happily not concern ourselves 
further with it at this moment. 

But Winterfeld has in mind yet another analogy between Roswitha 
and mimus by whom he means this time the Roman teller of a 
story. Roswitha prefixes to certain of her works periochae (pronun- 
tiationes fdbulae), i.e., tables of contents of the ensuing drama or 
legend. Now the Roman mimus, like the later minstrels, found it 
convenient, in a time when there were no printed handbills, to 
instruct his audience hi advance of the nature and theme of his story. 
It is a thing easily granted, that the producer in advertising his 
wares would gain effectiveness by sketching them beforehand, but 
so common a device as this has proved in all ages of simpler and 
director art means nothing for Roswitha's knowledge of Roman 

It is not far-fetched when from Roswitha's title to Gallicanus 
Winterfeld constructs the presumable way in which a mimus might 
act as " barker" (marktschreier) for it: "we are going to portray the 
marvelous history of Duke Gallicanus; Emperor Constantine prom- 
ised him his daughter in marriage, etc." So might a minstrel have 
spoken in the Harz Mountains in the tenth century, true enough; 
so spoke the secondary mimus in Rome, waving his arms wildly to 
attract the attention of a careless crowd; so in our summer-evening 
calls through a megaphone the barker or capper for a tawdry show. 
But is this mimus or is it human nature? Both, Winterfeld would 
answer, for mimus means das lebendige leben. 

His citation in this connection of the opening lines of the rhythm 
on Antichrist: 

Qiricunque cupitis audire ex meo ore carmina, 
De summo deo nunc audite gloriosa famina 
Et de adventu antichristi in extreme tempore 

is likewise without point, unless one may include within the pale 



of mimus scores of the most incongruous periochae from many 
different centuries and lands. Here is one such : 

Listen, my children, and you shall hear 

Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere, 

On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five; 

Hardly a man is now alive 

Who remembers that famous day and year. 

This sort of pronuntiatio fabulae could of course be multiplied 
indefinitely, and yet who would trace its source to mimus? Win- 
terfeld would have done so, I believe, in all seriousness, for it is like 
the tables of contents in Roman mimic repertory. I should prefer 
not to, nor would I trace the short pantomime in Hamlet, which 
Ophelia imagines " shows the content of the piece." 1 

And finally, in his study of Roswitha, Winterfeld asserts that 
she had chiefly portrayal in view, and that without much scenic 
apparatus "like her prototype the mimus." Of course she had, 
though her character-portrayal is generally weak enough, and her 
dramas were not acted. Quite as much of course the mimus like- 
wise relied almost wholly upon character-delineation, and his pro- 
ductions were not acted. 2 But equally in this connection every 
reading drama Tennyson, Browning must be modeled upon the 
Roman mimus, if the mere absence of much scenic apparatus and 
action be the deciding hall-mark. Ah me ! 


There are eight dialogue-poems which with more or less violence 
it is customary to group together under the name of eclogues. 3 
I doubt the wisdom of such a title, for their sources, their subject- 
matter, and their appeal are so diverse that we cannot honestly 
feel them to belong to a single literary genre affected by learned 
Carolingian poets, even though they are chiefly written in leonine 
hexameters, 4 a meter at this time popular with writers of the diocese 
of Rheims. These eight poems are: 

1 Winterfeld, op. cit., 319. 

*Cf. Modern Philology, VII, 330 flf. 

Cf. Allen, Modern Philology, V, 440 ff. 

* Cf. Wilhelm Meyer, Abhandlungen zur mittellateinischen Rhythmik, I, 193 f.; Traube, 
Karolingische Dichtungen, 39 f.; Poetae aevi Karolini, II, 711; Hamilton, Modern Philology, 
VII, 171. 



1. Imitations of the manner of Vergil's eclogues: the poem of 
Naso (Bishop Modoin of Autun, ca. 80S) 1 and the ecloga Theoduli 
(Gottschalk of Orbais, ca. 865). 2 The first of these pictures two 
shepherds who alternate in singing the praises of Charles the Great in 
true Vergilian manner and has a reflected, if dimmed, glory in its 
lines. The second is a most prosy contest between the pagan 
shepherd Pseustis and the Christian shepherdess Alithia as to the 
superiority of their separate faiths. 

2. Three necrologies eulogizing the virtues of ecclesiastics: the 
ecolga duarum sanctimonialium appended to Radbert Paschasius' 
Life of Adalhard of Corbie (died 826; the founder of Corvey), in 
which Philis and Galathea mourn the death of husband and father. 3 
Burchard of Reichenau's poem in praise of the abbot Witigowo 
(ca. 997). 4 The ecloga which Agius (Poeta Saxo?) appended to the 
Life of Hadwnod, his sister, who died as abbess of Gandersheim in 
874. 5 Of the three, Agius is the only one who achieves either pathos 
or poetry, when he subdues his own grief to comfort Hadumod's 
sorrowing nuns. 

3. Two conflictus, one the contest between rose and lily by 
Sedulius Scottus (ca. 840) , the other an anonymous struggle between 
summer and winter, sometimes attributed to Alcuin but presumably 
the dull school-task of one of his pupils. Both of these, I imagine, 
are reglossings of vernacular streitgedichte, the former allegorical in 
its symbolism, the latter pastoral (chorus of shepherds). They 
vacillate between a more correct diction modeled on learned sources 
like Vergil, the disticha Catonis, etc., and a rougher style which is 
apparently reminiscent of their popular source. 8 

4. Terence and the delusor. 

1 Dummler, Poetae aevi Karolini, I, 384; Neues Archiv, XI, 77; Grober, Grundriss, 
II, 157. 

2 Osternacher, Theoduli ecloga (1902); Vollmer, Monatsschrift fur die kirchliche 
Praxis (1904), 321 ff. 

3 Traube, Poetae aevi Karolini, III, 45; O Roma nobilis (1891), 14. 

4 Grober, Grundriss, II, 167. Because of this "eclogue," as well as because of 
twelfth- and thirteenth-century conflictus (Grober, op. cit., 391), I do not understand how 
Winterfeld can say: "The age of the eclogue is closely limited. It begins with Charles 
the Great and lasts barely a hundred years." 

* Traube, Poetae aevi Karolini, III, 369; Hiiffer, Korveier Studien, I. 

Of. Traube, "Perrona Scottorum," Miinchener Sitzungsberichte (1900), 495. 



With this material before him Winterfeld asserts that it was in 
the eclogue-form alone that the artistic poetry of the Carolingian 
renaissance found its way to the mimus, to real life itself. In all other 
ways, he contends, the archaizing tendencies of this renaissance with 
its pretentious copying of ancient literature retarded mimus (das 
lebendige leben) because before Notker no poet, not even Walafrid 
Strabo, dared be himself. For the moment, then, Winterfeld thinks 
of mimus as realism. 

Immediately, however, he turns to the mimes of Sophron, Theoc- 
ritus, and Herodas. This sort of eclogue which they wrote, he 
says, was one of the forms of mimic poetry, accepted and popular 
for centuries because of its dramatic cast, its dialogue, and the 
naturalness with which it portrayed life. It was a recited mimus 
given by one person (often the poet himself 1 ) and a definite type of 
mimic literature. 

Now this is true. But where in the list of eight eclogues of the 
Carolingian and later times do we find such mimi as those of Herodas 
or Theocritus? Modoin's and Gottschalk's poems we can in any 
sense whatever call mimi only because they were limping imitations 
of Vergilian eclogues, which in their turn were artificial (if beautiful) 
imitations of the manner of Theocritus' idylls. Neither Modoin nor 
Gottschalk ever wrote a real mimus, a recited poem, that is, which 
although dressed up for a court-audience was yet derived from the 
real life and characters of their own day. The only mimic thing in 
the work of either of them is that they used the dead husks of a 
dialogue-form and of the pastoral convention which had really had 
life instilled into it a thousand years and more before them. 

Now as to Terence and the delusor. It looks little like an eclogue, 
for it is neither a vapid re warming of the diction of Vergil, a retold 
vernacular streitgedicht, nor yet a cry of praise for a dead ecclesiastic ; 
it is coarse, living, and filled with a note of rough bravado. I do 
not agree with Winterfeld that this farce was ever acted, for there 
is no proof on this point, despite what he would cite as stage-direc- 
tions. And the source of it may be, as Rand thinks, occasioned by 
Terence's own retorts to Lanuvinus. 2 But if I did believe with 

1 Of. Wilamowitz, Hermes, XXXIV, 207; Weil, Journal des savants (1891), 672. 
Of. Modern Philology, VI, 404. 



Winterfeld that different types of mimic performances survived in 
the Dark Ages in Europe, I should claim for this piece continuity with 
the Roman past and make it a main prop of my contention. For this 
is the first thing we have so far met in all our travels which would 
suggest in spirit and form Roman paegnion; if anywhere in Christian 
Europe there is an example of Roman slap-stick mime, here it is. 
Not in its original form, doubtless, any more than Oxyrhynchus 413 
is an original piece, but at least conceivably the derivative of an 
Italian original. 


Widukind and Ekkehard tell us of the existence of many historical 
ballads of the ninth and tenth centuries. 1 In the former's history 
of the Saxons, for example, we are informed that in the year 915 
Duke Henry of Saxony so annihilated the Franks "that the mimi 
chanted, Where is there a hell wide enough to hold so big a score of 
dead ! " 2 Mimus here, of course, means a professional ballad-singer, 
and, since Lachmann at least, none has doubted that Widukind was 
referring to a phrase from a German historical folksong. 

Another such volkslied from a previous generation is the song of 
the fight at Fontenoy (843) 3 composed by "Angilbert who fought 
in the front rank and escaped alive alone of all those with him in 
the van." Now Winterfeld calls this Angilbert mimus, and again 
a mimus in the sense of ballad-singer he was, unless he lied, for he 
wrote a ballad. Mimus in any other sense (juggler, entertainer, 
court-jester, singer fresh from Italy) he was not. 

Another historical ballad which Winterfeld assigns to a mimus is 
the one celebrating Pepin's victory over the Avari, 4 written in the 
same style and the same meter as the Fontenoy song. This poem 
Winterfeld connects with a lost Latin ballad on the Iron Charles 
written by a Frankish minstrel (mimus), which is the basis for the 
story Notker tells us in the Gesta Karoli. 5 In one place at least the 

1 Of. Kelle, Gesch. d. deut. Lit., I, 378 f. 

2 WiduMndi, Res gestae Saxonicae ed. Waitz (1882); finished 968 A.D. with a short 
continuation a few years later. Ker (Dark Ages, 187) says: "Widukind had the 
national love of ballads. It is not difficult to find in his work traces of popular romance." 

3 Poetae aevi Karolini, II, 138; Meyer von Knonau, Ueber Nithards vier Backer 
Geschichten, 138 f. 

< Poetae aevi Karolini, I, 116. * Book I, chap. xvii. 



monk changes the ballad, and Winterfeld tells us "it is high praise 
for the mimus that even a genius such as Notker can but spoil where 
he alters his original." Winterfeld's attempted reconstruction of 
the ballad is suggestive, but less convincing is his remark that it 
was always a profession known as mimi who composed ballads on 
the campaigns and fights in which they personally shared. Even 
the passage from Guy of Amiens (died 1076), x 

Histrio cor audax nimium quern nobilitabat, 
Incisor- ferri mimus cognomine dictus, 

which relates to the Norman Taillefer, need not find general applica- 
tion for all contingencies and occasions of the three previous cen- 
turies. * 

It would not be important to note this, if it were not that Win- 
terfeld attempts to generalize widely from the poems on Fontenoy 
and the Avari. Their meter, he says, was the one used for all sorts 
of themes in sacred and secular balladry from the Merovingian times; 2 
it was at the same time one of the commonest in Roman comedy 
and beloved by the mass of the people. The mimi of the Mero- 
vingian epoch, he believes, had greater poetic talent than the whole 
Round-Table of Charles the Great. He asserts that they handed 
down their work hi the period long before 800 from father to son, 
from teacher to pupil presumably an oral tradition, as the character 
of the transmission shows. The later copies which were written down 
are not by the mimi but by the monks, or copies of such work written 
down from memory. 

Deriving straight then from the mimi of Rome, existing as a 
professional class of minstrels throughout the Merovingian days, 
fighting and singing for their masters, Winterfeld pictures the 
authors of our historical ballads and other secular lays. We may 
believe this or not as we will the evidence does not prove it. 3 All 

1 Carmen de expeditions Wilhelmi; Michel, Chroniques anglo-normandes, III (1840); 
Monumenta historica Britanniae, I, 856; cf . also Wace, Roman de Rou, iii, 8035, quoted by 
Chambers, Mediaeval Stage, I, 43. 

2 Wilhelm Meyer, Der Indus de Antichristo, 79. 

1 Winterfeld has a way of omitting evidence which does not make for his contention 
of southern mimi: e.g., the story of the Lombard minstrel (jocvlator ex Langobardorum 
gente) who led Charles the Great over Mount Cenis and as a reward asked all the land to 
which the sound of his horn could penetrate; cf. Chronicon Novaliciense (Monumenta 
Germaniae historica, Scriptores, VII, 73 fit.), written about 1050. Kogel thought to find 
traces of alliteration in the Latin prose translation of the chronicle; see also Schro- 
der's "retranslation" in Zeitschr. f. devt. Alt., XXXVII, 127. 



we do know is that poets of one sort and another have left us a few 
ringing songs in the shape of battle-lays and popular songs; and 
naturally enough the Latin word commonly employed for such poets 
was mimi. 


There is nothing in all the satirical poetry of Europe from the 
' sixth century to the eleventh which hints at the existence of Italian 
mimi in this period. To be sure, Winterfeld cites and translates 
as the work of such mimi two satirical pieces: the tale of the abbot 
of Angers, 1 a rollicking drinking-song which deserves inclusion in 
the kommersbuch, and the quarrel in execrable rhythmic (rhymed?) 
prose of two Merovingian bishops, Importunus and Chrodebert. 2 
The former is presumably of Charles the Great's time, the other 
about the year 665. We have no hint as to the author of either, 
he may have been a monk, a professional minstrel, or for that matter 
a man in any other walk of life. In so far, however, as he was 
known to the people of his time as author of such poetizing, he 
might be called mimus, for mimus was the Latin word in certain 
centuries for that sort of poet. Neither of them has any establish- 
able connection with the Roman mimus; in fact, as both pieces 
seem to spring straight from the observance of contemporary occur- 
rences, and to be the result of some animus on the part of those who 
wrote them, I should judge both to be the work of native authors 
who disliked most to see such abbots and bishops the work of 
honest churchmen, perhaps. 

The poet who lampooned the mimus court-fool of King Miro 
of Galicia in the sixth century was a Prankish minstrel, doubtless. 
He may or may not have had his training from Italy ; there is no 
reason why he should have had or should not. 3 The author of the 

iDiimmler, Zeitachr.f. deut. Alt., XXIII, 262, 265; Ebert, ibid., XXIV, 147; Zarncke, 
ibid., XXV, 25. 

2 Zeumer, Formulae Merovingici et Karolini aevi (1886), 220; Paul Meyer, Receuil des 
textes baa-latins, 8. Krusch once called this "das wahrste Denkmal der Merowinger- 
zeit." It was for work like this that Gregory of Tours once reproved King Chilperich 
as severely as if he had murdered people instead of rhythm. Cf. Historia Francorum, 
Book VI, chap, xlvi: "confecitque duos libros quasi Sedulium meditatus, quorum versiculi 
debiles nullis pedibus subsistere possunt, in quibus, dum non intellegebat, pro longis 
sill abas breves posuit et pro breves longas statuebat; et alia opuscula vel ymnos sive 
missas, quae nulla ratione suscipi possunt"; Winterfeld, Zeitschr. f. deut. Alt., XVLII, 73. 

* Heyne, Altdeutsch-lateinische Spielmannsgedichte des x. Jahrhunderts (1900), xxiv; 
Das altdeutsche Handwerk (1908), 110; Reich, Der Mimus, I, 826; Allen, Modern Philology, 
VI, 402; from Opera Gregorii Turonensis, edd. Arndt-Krusch, II, 651. 



quip about Uodalrih, the brother-in-law of Charles the Great, was 
a Frankish minstrel likewise, at least it is from a German song 
translated into the Latin prose of Notker that we hear of him. 1 

There is, further, no possible linking with Roman mimus of any 
of the other satirical quips and songs from early times : the mocking 
of Liubene's daughter, of the man from Chur, of timid count Hugo, 
of Little John the monk. Not only can a source in Roman mimus 
not be established for these pieces and for others slightly later in 
date, 2 but it would seem more reasonable to believe them the natural 
outcropping of the mood of the moment, of Swabian humor and 
sarcasm, or of equally effective French irony, than to refer them by 
indirection to Rome. 

Now it is true, unfortunately true, that in his culture the mediaeval 
man belonged first of all to the church which was the ecclesia catho- 
lica, 3 after that to his cloister, and that there are in his writings but 
few traces of his racial character. But when a keen sense discovers 
lurking beneath the dull exterior of inept mediaeval Latin some 
trace of native art, of provincial art, why then must we exchange 
. this treasured birthright for the pottage of an Italian mimus? 


One can scarcely forbear smiling at the oracular statement with 
which Winterfeld begins his argument that Roman mimi and their 
descendants wrote sacred ballads. "The church and its teachers 
had denounced the mimus," he says, " but had failed to suppress him." 
There can be no doubt of this, for many records tell the story. But 
Winterfeld continues: "Thereupon the church did not make its 
peace with the mimus, but a part of the mimi made theirs with 
the church. Such a rhythmic poem as Chilperic wrote about St. 
Medardus would be inconceivable except for the mimus, for the 
mimus had begun as early as the Merovingian epoch to clothe 
biblical and legendary material in this rhythmic form." 

As no further explanation is vouchsafed us in the matter, we 

1 Mtjllenhoff-Scherer, Denkmaler 3 , No. viii. 

2 For further discussion of all such available early songs and bibliography of them cf . 
Modern Philology, III, 437; V, 44 fit.; VI, 402. 

3 Cf. Winterfeld, Stilfragen aus der lateinischen Literatur des Mittelalters, 12; Allen, 
Modern Philology, VI. 172 ff. 



can only conclude that Winterfeld again refers to mimus as minstrel; 
not Roman minstrel, but any realistic poet. What he achieves 
thereby is problematical, unless he regards it as strange that all 
biblical legends were not told in metrical form, and by monks. Of 
the several legendary themes which he mentions, the most popular 
ones were those dealing with Antichrist and the descent of Christ 
into hell. 1 An example of the latter sort, an ABC-poem, speaks 
of the court of a king and tells us of the audience there gathered at 
Eastertide : 

Abbati juncti simul et neophitae. 
Hymnorum sonus modulantur clerici 
Ad aulam regis et potentes personae; 
Procul exclusit saeculares fabulas. . . . 

abbots, those newly baptized, churchmen, influential laymen, sing 
hymns in the court of the king who has forbidden secular stories for 
the day; and in this aristocratic and pious company Winterfeld 
believes "the mimus too sings of Christ's death, of his descent into 
hell, and resurrection." But why mimus? Simply because the 
poem has a popular theme such as a minstrel might choose. 

Other sacred materials of a popular sort Winterfeld for like reason 
ascribes to mimus : the poem on the destruction of Jerusalem which 
is worked out realistically after the manner of Josephus, so that not 
even the stench of the rotting corpses is left to our imagination; 
the story of St. Placidas which is treated so sympathetically as to 
be more effective than Herder's handling of the same theme in his 
Wiedergefundener Sohn; the poem on Antichrist over which there 
broods a mood like unto dark night at noonday, from whose lines 
a true poet speaks. Why mimus? 

Just because here and there in sacred balladry a vivid picture, 
a real emotion, a direct and unvarnished diction appear; only because 
no canting monk is speaking, but some earnest poet-preacher who 
is talking better than his fellows in an early time. We shall never 
know who such authors were, but they are mimi only if that word 
denotes one of whatever walk of life, amateur or professional, who 
happens to write an effective rhythm on some religious legend. 

Cf. Zeitschr. /. deut. Alt., XL VII (1903), 89; Neuet Archiv, XXV, 406; Dreves. 
Analecta hymnica, II (1888), 91. 



Surely in no other field of mediaeval writing should we be so 
surprised to see a song accorded the descendant of a Roman mimus, 
because of its realistic fervor, as in the field of sacred balladry. 
From the days of Augustine and Jerome at least to those of Bernard 
of Morlais the allurements and the rottenness of the world were 
depicted by poet-monks in a fashion more satirical and naturalistic 
than modern convention sanctions. There was that in the training 
and practice of monasticism which wrung the souls of strong men; 1 
there was that in life as it was sometimes led in the Dark Ages 
which impelled clerks to an occasional materialism which sounds 
odd enough today. But that in all the sombre vision-literature, the 
dire prophecy, the grim poetry based upon Old Testament story 
and legend, there is not a ranker growth of materialism than actually 
exists this fact may cause us to wonder, not the fact that there 
is any. It is to my mind no stranger that a Merovingian man of 
God should be a realist, than that a court-chaplain of the twelfth 
century should edit a codification of the Rules of Love, a book which 
enjoyed every whit of the authority of Cavendish on Whist, or that 
a Franciscan friar of the Renaissance should swear he had employed 
eighteen consecutive hours in copying Ovid's De remedio amoris and 
all "for the glorification of the Virgin Mary." We must take what 
we find without prejudice. The bishops Importunus and Chrodebert 
are living figures from an early age, even if their lineaments be 
somewhat distorted by the caricature in which we learn of them. 


If we use the word mimus, as we should not, to mean any 
realistic and living portrayal in prose or poetry for one thousand 
years, then I believe that mimus is the source of mediaeval jong- 
leur and spielmann, the fountain-head of Romance and Germanic 

If we use the word mimus, as we should, to mean such dramatic 
performances and actors, such vaudeville entertainers as existed 
in fifth-century Rome, then I believe the mediaeval mimi minstrels 
and poets had no connection with the southern mimus. 

1 Recall as a single example of such travail the poem De monacho cruciatu in Hagen, 
Carmina medii aevi, 178. 



Such connection at least is nowhere visible in the poetry and 
prose of the European Dark Ages. And in all the chronicles and 
records from the writings of Jerome, Paulinus of Nola, and Salvianus 
of Marseilles down to the Policr aliens of John of Salisbury we may 
nowhere say surely what is meant by the loosely applied word 
mimus, unless the record particularly specify. Even then, as is the 
case with Isidore of Seville in his Etymologies, we are often less wise 
than when we began. 



In studying the records from the fifth to the sixteenth century 
which refer to mimus, and its synonyms scurra, histrio, scenicus, 
joculator, we are confronted by a constant difficulty. For we are 
never sure of what any, of these words means, except when it refers 
in a loose way to a popular but despised race of entertainers "qui 
nil sciunt preter insanire." There are four reasons for this: 

1. The church councils which for many centuries published 
decrees against the mimi and their fellows were handed down from 
one generation to another in transumpts which were often almost 
identical in their phrasing. Because of this, and because of their 
failure to gloss the word mimus except by accompanying it with a 
long list of words which referred to all sorts of entertainers and 
dissolute people, we cannot ever judge from one of these decrees just 
what the status or occupation of the mimus was at any given time. 

2. The church penitentials, naturally enough, viewed the activity 
of mimi from an ethical and not from a cultural point of view. We 
cannot therefore read from such records a sane statement of how any 
particular age regarded its entertainers; witness the description of 
Thomas de Cabham, for example. 

3. It is frequently not safe to derive conclusions regarding the 
way in which an age fostered mimi from the writings of some his- 
torian of that age. Cassiodorus [sixth century], Leidrad of Lyons 
[eighth], Notker Labeo [tenth], John of Salisbury [twelfth] are good 
examples of this fact, which can be proved equally well by a score 
of other writers. For these men in discussing the mimi and their 
activities had in mind what the mimi of classical antiquity had 



been, and borrowed much of their description of the mimi from 
classical sources, instead of giving us a picture drawn from the 
state of affairs in their own day. 

4. We are often misled, almost universally misled, if we trans- 
late mediaeval mentions of mimus, scurra, histrio, etc., as their 
etymology would tempt us to. Mimus, that is, as it appears in 
monkish and scholastic Latin during the Middle Ages, does not 
mean pantomime or mimic portrayer; scenicus has nothing to do 
with stage; histrio no longer means actor, etc. 

It is, then, labor lost to build up theories regarding the con- 
tinuance of drama, farce, the art of acting, transmission of various 
forms of novel, romance, lyric, fable, from any or all of the manifold 
records regarding mimi, as we yet have them. It is not impossible 
that new sources of knowledge may be discovered which will tell 
their tale so clearly that we can use them to construct a more definite 
picture of the traditions of literary form in the Dark Ages than we 
now have. But, pending such new discoveries, and for the four 
reasons above given, we should be exceedingly slow to accept the 
rather fanciful portrayals of mimi in Europe quoted in the preceding 
parts of my study. 

Now quite a number of the men who wrote about the mimi and 
their fellows must have known what they were talking about. It 
would, therefore, seem a foregone conclusion that if there had been 
at any time previous to the twelfth century, say, well-defined classes 
of mimi practicing various forms of a settled and traditional art, 
the historians [or some of them or one of them] would have gladly 
given information of these matters. But this point, which appar- 
ently requires no proof, is slow to be accepted by many students of 
the origins of mediaeval literature, chiefly, I think, because they 
do not believe that men in central and northern Europe during the 
early Middle Ages could have recreated different literary types, 
except upon the basis of an inherited transmission of these forms 
from the south. Many students, thus, like Chambers and Reich, 
have studied the records not as they are, but as they should be. 
They have learned not for purpose of wisdom, but for argument 
and dialectic. And so they have found that for which they were 
searching, which is, after all, not surprising, for I have never yet 


seen a critic approach the monuments of the Dark Ages with a 
fixed idea in mind without having his pre-conception almost instantly 
confirmed. "Seek and ye shall find!" is a philological axiom. 

I have often wondered why the Danish history of Saxo "the 
lettered" has not been used to show what mimus meant to the 
Germanic peoples at least 1 during the eleventh and twelfth centuries. 
For Saxo's references 2 have more value than any other ones I know, 
and for two reasons. First, we understand from the Gesta, more 
clearly than we do from any other chronicle I remember, the nature 
of the person and the circumstance which call forth the appellation 
mimus (scurra, histrio, scenicus, joculator); second, Saxo paints the 
scenes in which these five words are used so graphically that we 
cannot fail to catch his instant purpose. I append a short synopsis 
of these passages, because I believe they aid materially in establishing 
the fact that mimus at the beginning of the Middle Ages was a 
term of such general meaning that students cannot use it or its 
synonyms to directly further any theory which regards southern 
entertainers as the source of modern prose and poetry. 

I [Holder, 185]. Starkad betakes himself to Hakon, tyrant of 
Denmark, because he is tired of the public wantonness of the dancers, 
their idle clatter, their ringing of bells, at the fair in Upsala when 
the city is crowded with strangers come to observe the season of 
carnival which accompanies the sacrifices. 3 "Ad Haconem Danie 
tyrannum se contulit quod apud Upsalam sacrificiorum tempore 
constitutus, effeminates corporum motus scenicosque mimorum 
plausus ac mollia nolarum crepitacula fastidiret." 

1 Although this restriction of the meaning of the word is doubtless unnecessary, for 
Saxo presumably employs the term mimus as other historians of his time did. The whole 
character of his writing shows him to have possessed some of the best of the learning of his 
day there is small reason to think he had not acquired his training at a foreign university, 
Paris perhaps, like his contemporary, Anders Suneson, and many other cultured Danes. 
Why, then, argue that he spoke of mimus and the other words for entertainer except as 
any historian of his age the close of the twelfth century would have done? 

1 Saxonis Grammatici Gesta Danorum, ed. Holder (1886), 81, 133, 185, 186, 195, 203. 

s No account of the temple-feast at Upsala is given, but in Book XIV (Holder, 564 f.) 
Saxo describes the religious rites at a heathen temple in Rtigen. The following lines 
picture the crowd and the carnival: "Semel quotannis, post lectas fruges, promiscua 
tocius insule [i.e., Rtigen] frequencia ante edem simulacre [Suanto-Vitus], litatis pecudum 

hostiis, solenne epulum, religionis nomine celebrabat His ita peractis, reliquum 

diei plenis luxurie epulis exigentes, ipsas sacriflcii dapes in usum conuiuii et gule nutri- 
menta uertere, consecratas numini uictimas intemperancie sue seruire cogentes. In 
quo epulo sobrietatem uiolare plum estimation est, seruare nef as habitum." 



To translate "scenicos mimorum" with Elton 1 by "of the mimes 
on the stage" is unwarrantable, unless we dissociate from our idea 
of stage all thought of actor, play, and playhouse. It is true that 
in much earlier Latin the noun scenica meant "loca lusibus publicis 
addicta, ut sunt circi, theatra, et ejusmodi," but here as in two 
other passages in Saxo the adjective scenicus can mean only "idle, 
empty, wanton, dissolute." Mimus in the passage above quoted 
denotes a dancer, a noise-maker, and a ringer of bells (or one dressed 
in clothes hung with bells). 

II [Holder, 186]. Starkad went with Hakon and his fleet to 
Ireland, whose king, Hugleik, was never "generous to any respect- 
able man, but spent all his bounty upon mimes and jugglers (mimos 
ac ioculatores) . For so base a fellow was bound to keep friendly 
company with the base, and such a slough of vices to wheedle 
his partners in sin with pandering endearments (blandimentorum 
lenocinio). Still he had Geigad and Swipdag, who, by the singular 
luster of their warlike deeds, shone out among their unmanly com- 
panions (effeminatorum consorcia) like jewels embedded in ordure. 
When a battle began between Hugleik and Hakon, the hordes of 
mimes (mimorum greges), whose lightmindedness unsteadied their 
bodies, scurried off in panic. Starkad conquered, killing Hugleik 
and routing the Irish ; and he had any of the actors (quoscunque ex 
histrionibus) beaten whom chance made prisoner; thinking it better 
to order a pack of buffoons (scurrarum agmen) to be ludicrously 
punished than to take their lives. Thus he visited with a disgraceful 
chastisement the baseborn throng of jugglers (iocularis ministerii) ." 
I have purposely quoted the translation of Elton, because it employs 
the technical words indicating different professions: mime, juggler, 
actor, buffoon. But Elton has translated these terms into the pas- 
sage, not out of it. Saxo calls the rabble of parasites which com- 
poses Hugleik's army mimi, joculatores, histriones, and scurrae, just 
as he denominates them "partners in sin," "panders," "vicious," 
"ordure," "lightminded," and "base" to show what a herd of 
swine they were. Just as we use the names of certain of the most 
disgraceful professions today as a term of harsh reproach, with 
never a thought of the professions themselves, so they did in the 
twelfth century so undoubtedly man has always done. 

1 Of. Elton, TheFirtt Nine Books of IheDanish History of Saxo Grammaticua (1894), 228 



III [Holder, 203]. Starkad is sulking at the table of King Ingild, 
son of Frode IV of Denmark. Ingild's queen, to soothe him, bade 
a piper (tibicine de industria) strike up. But "the crestfallen per- 
former learnt that it is in vain for buffoons to assail with their 
tricks (frustra scurrarum lusibus attentari) a settled sternness. 
Starkad flung the bone, which he had stripped in eating the meat, 
in the face of the harlequin (gesticulantis) and drove the wind vio- 
lently out of his puffed cheeks. By this act he showed how his 
austerity loathed the clatter of the stage (scenicos plausus). This 
reward, befitting an actor (dignum histrione), punished an unseemly 
performance. None could say whether the minstrel (mimus) piped 
or wept the harder. Then, to revile the actor (in histrionis suggilla- 
cionem) more at length, Starkad composed a song." Again, as in 
the preceding quotation, professional names, mimus, scenicus, scurra, 
histrio, and all to indicate what? A piper. Nowhere better than 
here can we see how little the heaping-up of lists of class-names so 
dear to mediaeval chronicles betokens a catalogue of different pro- 
fessions. A second time Elton's translation of " scenicos " by " stage " 
instead of by "idle" or "wanton" is unconvincing. The next 
paragraph decides the matter. 

IV [Holder, 81]. Odin has been told by Rostioph the Finn that 
a son must be born to him by Rinda, daughter of the king of the 
Ruthenians. So the god disguises himself as a woman and pre- 
tends to be something of a physician. Rinda falls sick, and her 
father consents to her being bound, as so bitter a drug is prescribed 
for her by the deceitful Odin that she otherwise could not endure 
its effects. While she is unconscious Odin accomplishes his dis- 
honest purpose. Because of his assuming the garb of a woman 
and because of his wanton practices many people adjudged him 
unworthy to return from his' ten years' exile and resume his rank, 
since he had brought the foulest scandal on the name of the gods. 
"Extitire tamen, qui ipsum recuperande dignitatis aditu indignum 
censerent, quod scenicis artibus et muliebris officii suscepcione 
teterrimum diui nominis opprobrium edidisset." Even in this place 
Elton adheres to his translation of "stage tricks" for "scenicis 
artibus," but we may now disregard him, in so far at least as "stage" 
means to us "pertaining to the boards of a playhouse." The wan- 



dering minstrels had many tricks in their trade if Saxo's word 
means aught more than "idle" or "wanton," then it means simply 
such things as the minstrel did: i.e., dressing up as a woman, playing 
the quack-physician, perhaps even portraying with his spilwib some 
crude pantomime of lust. 

V [Holder, 133]. Eric Mal-spaki (the Shrewd-Spoken), son of 
Ragnar the champion, by eating the black part of the magic snake- 
pottage prepared by his stepmother Kraka had become wise to an 
incredible degree. When he comes to war against the Danes he is 
approached by the scurrilous Grep, son of Westmar, a guardian of 
young Frode, and the inevitable flyting ensues. Says Grep to the 
mighty Eric: 

Thou art thought to be as full of quibbling as a cock of dirt; 
Thou stinkest heavy with filth, and reekest of nought but sin. 
There is no need to lengthen the plea against a buffoon, 
Whose strength is in an empty and voluble tongue. 1 

The fourth line explains succinctly why Grep calls the Swedish hero 
a scurra (buffoon) he would make Eric appear an empty braggart. 

VI [Holder, 195]. Helge the Norwegian, suitor for the hand of 
Helga the daughter of Frode IV of Denmark, has impetuously agreed 
to fight singlehanded Anganty of Zealand, a rival suitor, and his 
eight brothers. Impelled by his dread of the unequal combat Helge 
sends a messenger to Starkad in Upsala inviting him to the wedding 
of Frode's daughter, secretly hoping for the great hero's help. But 
Starkad is pleased to consider the invitation an insult and turning 
on Helge's messenger tells him "he must think Starkad like some 
buffoon or trencherman is accustomed to rush off to the reek of a 
distant kitchen for the sake of a richer diet " (se scurre uel parasiti 
more laucioris alimonie gracia ad aliene culine nidorem decurrere 
solitum existimauerit) . Here scurra is used of one whose chief 
concern is the lining of his paunch a glutton: 

From the preceding passages of Saxo's history we see two things: 
first, mimus and its synonyms were used indiscriminately to indicate 
any sort of vulgar entertainer; second, these words more often 

1 Vt gallus ceni, sic litis plenus haberis; 
Sorde gravis putes, nee nisi crimen oles. 
Aduersum scurram causam producers non est, 
Qui vacua uocis mobilitate iiiget. 



connote simply idleness and baseness. It is important to note that, 
so far as we may read from the writings of Saxo, there is often little 
if any difference in content and manner between court-poetry and 
the sort of poetry which critics have assigned to the mimi: 

[Holder, 208J: Pascit, ut porcum, petulans maritum, 
Impudens scortum natibusque fidens 
Gratis admission tolerare penem 
Crimini stupri. 

[Holder, 140]: Quando tuam limas admissa cote bipennem, 

Nonne terit tremulas men tula quassa nates? 
" Ut cuivis natura pilos in corpore sevit, 
Omnis nempe suo barba ferenda loco est. 
Re Veneris homines artus agitare necesse est; 
Motus quippe suos nam labor omnis habet. 
Cum natis excipitur nate, vel cum subdita penem 
Vulva capit, quid ad haec addere mas rermit?" 

Such passages as these, which are by no means unique in Saxo, show 
clearly enough that the gulf between native Germanic singer and 
foreign mimus, in the eleventh and twelfth centuries at least, was 
one of the former's jealous making, rather than one which existed in 
fact. The mimus was abjured, because he took away the court- 
poet's audience, 1 and the latter revenged himself by calling him 
utterly depraved and ever adverting to his foreign origin. Who 
were these foreigners in the Germanic north? Winterfeld would 
derive them straight from Rome, if he had remembered his Saxo; 
but there is no reason to go so far afield. I imagine them simply 
graceless German ne'er-do-wells, spielmdnner and spielweiber, detested 
by an old house-carle like Starkad, as were the cooking and luxury 
introduced in the eleventh century from Germany. One of their 
nobler brothers from Saxony is the cantor who tried in vain to warn 
Kanute of a conspiracy against his life by singing the song of Grim- 
hild's treachery to her brothers [Holder, 427]. 


1 F. York Powell cites in this connection Corpus poeticum boreale, I, 255, 530; II, 
275 f., 327. The court-poet's pride in his achievements lingers in the legend of how the 
Danes gave the crown to Hiarn [Hjarrand the harper] because he wrote so beautiful an 
ode to dead Frode [Holder, 172]. 




Prior to the acquisition by the University of Chicago of the 
Handapparat of the lamented Paul von Winterfeld, I was unable in 
more than a dozen passages to make sense of Hilary's verses (ed. 
Champollion Figeac, Paris, 1838). As several of these places have 
been mended for me by marginal notations in Winterfeld's hand- 
writing, I feel that it is only fair both to my co-workers and to the 
memory of Winterfeld to publish these notes. They follow without 
comment of my own: 

Page 3, line 13, for quadem read quadam. 
9, 3, for infirmus read infirmum ? 

9, 12, for suam read Sodom. 

10, 20, for dictavit read ditavit. 

10, 21, for prodens read prudens, and omit preceding comma. 
10, 22, for prudens read pudens. 
17, 12, for tendem read tandem. 

21, 8,forEiread'E.' 

22, 19, for (tibi) read (factus). 
32, 16, for ferens read fetens. 

34, place periods at end of verses 8 and 12. 

37, 10 for portasti read portastis "der schreiber trennte portasti sposita 
und liess in sp das s aus, wie immer." 

40, 5, for supido read Cupido. 

41, 4, for una read verna "cf. ix, 6, 2 vernacula." 
57, for Novis deus quod lacum 

Nescio, neque locum 

De quo fit mencio 
read Novit deus, quod lacum nescio 

Neque locum, de quo fit mencio. 
57, 22, for leonem read leonum. 
60, 8 for juxit read edixit. 

For sources or analogues, Winterfeld cites p. 20, 1. 13, Versus de 
hermafrodito, 21, 5 Horat. carm. I, 4; 23, 17 imag. in Carm. Bur. 

427] 1 [MODERN PHILOLOGY, January, 1912 



For two years I have speculated about the song which I print 
and translate below; nor am I yet content with what I know about 
it. But I dislike to wait longer to present it, for it seems to me 
most important in what it implies: that earlier than we ordinarily 
imagine European poetry had the note of abandon, of reckless self- 
surrender, the erotic, personal note which we usually associate with 
the goliard Latin songs and the Provengal songs of the last part of the 
twelfth century. 

There is nothing like our song hi that beautiful treasury of ninth- 
and tenth-century lyrics and ballads, the so-called Cambridge MS, 
nor yet in other tenth- and eleventh-century MSS of poetry. These 
other codices, I not only grant but I insist, had poems more effective, 
more beautiful. But none of them to my knowledge contains a 
song so sensual and concrete as this. 

Its poor author apparently could not make proper rhythms; he 
had not the art of rhyme; his imagery is largely that furnished him a 
thousand fold by saint's life, hymn, and sacred invocation. So 
far, then, as the whole manner of his verses is concerned and much 
of his commonplace matter they can be multiplied again and again 
from ecclesiastical and didactic literature of his and an earlier day. 
It is, however, not the poet's art that holds us. 

But the sichgehenlassen the frank confession the lack of thought 
for the consequences; where else so early do we find them in an erotic 
piece which speaks in a warm breath of the mistress Flora, of flowers, 
and of spring ? I do not argue; I ask. And none more glad than I, 
if other eleventh-century lyrics be brought to light which have the 
note of this one. 

Eleventh-century ? Why ? The song is found hi two MSS, one 
of the twelfth, the other of the thirteenth century. But its surround- 
ings, in which are many eleventh-century pieces; its verbiage, which 
is still largely that of poems written by known eleventh-century 
authors; the very poverty and leanness of its whole manner and 
guise; its hesitant and unimaginative art these seem to speak, in 
almost every line, of poetry written before the light and graceful 
schemes of rhyming which the twelfth and thirteenth centuries knew. 

Let my reader study these things on his own initiative. Let him 



turn from this song to the love lays of later MSS Queen Christine, 
St. Omer, Benedictbeuern; and he will agree with me. And for 
philological aid in the matter I refer him to two articles by 
Wattenbach 1 and a recent, most adequate dissertation. 2 

Ambrosian flowers, the crocus fresh, the violet, 
Spring's lilies mingled with the tender rose, 
To me of no such beauty now appear, 
Nor yet with such a pleasing fragrance fraught 
As thou, my Flora, when thou spend'st thy sweets. 
These flowers, 'tis true, allure our outward sense, 
But thou mak'st glad the senses and the heart. 
Thou more than breathest forth their redolence, 
Yea, thou art essence of sweet Love itself. 
Ah, happy he, close-clasped in thy embrace, 
Who, sighing deep with bliss, drinks in the breath 
From thy half-opened lips which lure him on. 
When with the virgin's breast his breast is one, 
When he sips honey from her yellow combs, 
Then can no tardy prick of conscience come, 
Sickness and pain may torture him no more. 
And though dire winter with its killing frost 
Doth halt the rivers in their long career, 
Yet then comes spring with every ravishment. 
What more can heart desire ? Ne'er mayest thou 
Discover aught more worthy of thy search, 
To such a treasure need no new be joined. 3 

Sitzungsber. d. Berl. Akad., 1891, 97-114; Neues Archiv, 1892, 351-84. 

J Gertrud Stockmayer, Ueber Naturgefiihl in Deutschland \m 10. und 11. Jahrhundert, 
Leipzig, 1910. 

3 Ambrosie flores violeque crocique recentes, 

Vernaque cum teneris lilia mixta rosis, 
Non tantum forma nee odere placere videntur, 

Quantum, Flora, michi suavia dando places. 
Nempe iuvant flores hos sensus exteriores, 

Tu vero sensus cordaque nostra foves. 
Nee tu, Flora, levem spiras michi floris odorem, 

Ipsius at flores dulcls amoris oles. 
Felix qui talem, qui te complexus odorem 

Sugit ab ore gemens semipatente tuo. 
Quid ? cum virgineo cum pectore pectora iungit, 

Et libat flavis condita mellia favis, 
Non ilium dure mordentes pectora cure, 

Non labor aut morbus sollicitare queunt. 
Quamvis bruma gelu labentia fluraina sistat, 

Affluit hie vernis undique delicils. 
Ultra quid cupiat ? nil iam reperire valebit, 

Hiis fortuna bonis addere nulla potest. 


The theme of our song is a rare one to come down to us from 
Europe before Provencal love poetry. But it had many sister-songs, 
none the less, though our ears shall perhaps never hear them. 



Reprinted for private circulation from 
MODERN PHILOLOGY, Vol. XX, No. 3, February, 1923 


La Fortune Intellectuelle de Herder en France. La Preparation. 
By HENRI TRONCHON. Paris: F. Eieder et Cie, 1920. Pp. 570. 

This stout volume, which is to be followed by a concluding volume 
containing "Les re"sultats" of Herder's intellectual fortunes in France, con- 
tains an exhaustive and valuable statement and discussion of the influence 
of Herder's writings on French thought until about the year 1830. 

Starting with a quotation from Quinet, who translated, a quarter of a 
century after Herder's death, the Ideen zur Philosophic der Geschichte der 
Menschheit, the author proceeds to write the history of the entrance of 
Herder's writings into France. Quinet had said of Herder: "Et cet homme 
est presque inconnu parmi nous! Et son nom n'y reVeille ni souvenirs ni 
sympathie." To this complaint Mr. Tronchon opposes his own thesis, the 
chief parts of which are that Herder had been known in France from the 
beginning of his literary activity, that there had been a number of emphatic 
expressions of sympathy and profound intellectual indebtedness to him on 
the part of French leaders of thought, but that the influence of Herder's 
ideas had never been decisive and lasting. Mr. Tronchon supports his con- 
tentions by a detailed examination, distinguished by scholarly care and 
thoroughness and intellectual integrity, of each of the French writers who 
had been in direct contact with Herder's ideas. 

In the introduction Mr. Tronchon surveys Herder's fundamental con- 
ceptions. His summary of what he terms Herder's "intellectual physiog- 
nomy" is so compact, clear and balanced that it deserves at least partial 
quotation: " L'essentiel de cette physionomie intellectuelle semble tout 
d'abord re"sider en une curiosit6 passionn^e, en une vivacite" d'imagination 
incroyable, toujours en eVei! et en quSte, qui explore ou cotoie & peu pr6s 
tous les domaines litte"raires ou avoisinant la litte"rature, et dont un Encyclo- 
p&Iiste meme aurait e^e" de'concerte'; en une fongueuse universalite" de con- 
naissances ou d'associations, les unes illustrant, pe'ne'trant, aidant les autres. 
Me"me dans 1'histoire des lettres allemandes, ou la litte'rature, Part, la 
religion et la philosophic sont solidaires et forment un tout, ou tous les 
grands esprits ont e'te' & la fois savants, philosophes, litterateurs et meme 
the'ologiens, 1'ceuvre de Herder garde une place & part. Elle est, dans son 
entier, d'une ampleur et d'une ge'ne'ralite' & n'en de"courager aucun, d'une 
eleVation a se"duire toutes les ames un peu hautes: lui-meme, ne donnait-il 
pas a la sienne, comme dominante, le sens de la noblesse ? " 

The importance of the grasp of the unity within the endless variety of 
detail, of "les vues d'ensemble"; Herder's suspicion of abstractions, of any 



form of "construction dans 1'absolu"; his belief that we were created in the 
first place not for abstract ideas but for concrete actions; above all, his 
unparalleled sense of the constant process of development in accordance with 
all the conditions of our environment, that genetic instinct which is character- 
istic of the modern historical point of view all these essential features are 
concisely stated. To the systematic critics of Herder Mr. Tronchon opposes 
the neat alternative: "N'est-on philosophe qu'au prix d'un systeme? Ou 
ce titre appartient-il (quoting from Ch. Adam, La Philosophic en France) a 
quiconque provoque un grand mouvement des esprits dans une direction 

In this historical survey, M. Tronchon shows that the critical journals 
from the first called attention to Herder's works. The Journal Encyclo- 
pedique discussed briefly and in general terms, but favorably, Herder's Frag- 
mente only a few months after their appearance. The other journals which 
early kept him before the French public are the Gazette des Deux Fonts, the 
Esprit des Journaux, and les Nouvelles de la Republique des Lettres et des Arts. 
Herder's essay on the "Origin of Language" was the first to make "some 
noise," becoming the subject of a heated literary controversy, in which the 
lawyer, Le Brigant, proved an obstinate but ineffective adversary of Herder's 
theory of the natural growth of language. From 1780 until 1815 the critical 
interest in his writings constantly increased. Mr. Tronchon gives a full 
survey with quotations from the principal French journals. 

The next bearers of Herder's ideas were first, the returned "Emigre's," 
but above all Mme de Stael and her "group," whose leader was Benjamin 
Constant. The chapter on the latter is very interesting and informing. Mr. 
Tronchon thinks Herder's influence on Constant has to be limited to the 
realization of the fundamental difference between religious sentiment and 
the established forms of religion in their bearings on the history of religion. 
He declines to believe that Herder had any essential part in the idea of per- 
fectibility as it appears in Constant's view of history or in the theory of the 
genetic relations between religious sentiment and dogma, on the one hand, and 
the environment, on the other. He accounts for the former by the current 
French ethical tradition and for the latter by Montesquieu. 

It is at this point that the reader becomes uneasily sensible of a gap in 
the argument. A result, so negative as that stated by Mr. Tronchon, would 
seem to be too much out of proportion with the volume of discussion of 
Herder's ideas and the numerous confessions of profound indebtedness on 
the part of many distinguished French writers, to be conclusive. It is an 
axiom of induction that every substantive discrepancy between evidence 
and inference indicates omission of essential factors. Even if the idea of 
perfectibility and the theory of the milieu were part of the French intel- 
lectual tradition of the eighteenth century, yet the change from the concep- 
tions of Montesquieu to those of Constant regarding the genetic processes of 
history and the elements and relations of environment was too great not to 
point to the intervention of new formative principles. 


The enormous difficulty of weighing the influence of a man like Herder 
lies in the fact that his original store of formal principles, of analytic terms of 
classification, is the smallest part of his historical contribution. His greatest 
service to the expansion of the modern mind is of a different character, difficult 
to analyze and state, and yet clearly discernible. Herder had the creative 
gift of exceptional flexibility, resource, and discernment in applying general 
formal conceptions, analytic generalizations like perfectibility and environ- 
ment, to every new concrete condition which came under the notice of his 
indefatigable mind. He had more than any one of his contemporaries, the 
double gift of distinguishing in every field of reality both the specific and the 
general, the individual and the universal parts. It is this gift of clothing 
the few dominant generalizations of an age in the immeasurable richness 
of concrete individual experience, rather than the rationalistic opposite 
of stripping the latter to the monotonous poverty of the former, which is 
the living essence of modern humanism since Herder. 

This gift was the source of Herder's genius. He saw the inexhaustible 
applicability of a few generalizations in the specific forms of individual life. 
And he taught this outlook to his contemporaries. Even at this day one 
cannot read his works without being enriched on every page by fresh illumina- 
tions, by new concrete revelations of general ideas. Herder reorganized the 
theories of art, literature, philosophy, religion and history within the double 
focus of individuality and environment. The reason why a generation after 
his death few were aware of his particular formulations, was perhaps that by 
that time the philosophy of history had been transformed largely in Herder's 
image, and needed no longer the external apparatus of his procedure. 

The reviewer ventures the suggestion that Mr. Tronchon might have suc- 
ceeded in housing a larger harvest from his gathering if he had supplemented 
his discriminating and thorough analysis of formulated ideas with an attempt 
to weigh and reduce to terms as precise and just as he did the latter, the 
synthetic nature of Herder's mind, in which reason was deliberately inte- 
grated with feeling and will; to define the specific factors in Herder's "vues 
d'ensemble," which would fill much of the gap between the conception of 
history, characteristic of Montesquieu, and that of Constant and his age. 
The real problem of Herder's influence is not so much one of formulated 
principles as it is one of type of synthetic outlook. 

In the remainder of the volume all the other important French writers 
influenced by Herder pass in review: Barthez, Michel Berr, Dege>ando, 
Ballanche, Guizot; De Maister, Bonald, Stendhal; August Comte, Saint- 
Simon; Quinet and Eckstein. All are interpreted with the same compe- 
tence, fine intellectual integrity, and discernment. 

The promised second volume, which is to bring "les resultats," is awaited 
with much interest. 



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